Unwanted Sexual Experiences in University Settings: Survivors’ Perspectives on Effective Prevention and Intervention Strategies


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Unwanted sexual incidents on university campuses pose significant public health and safety risks for students. This study explored survivors’ perspectives on secondary prevention of campus sexual assault and effective strategies for intervention programs for unwanted sexual incidents in university settings. Twenty-seven student survivors of unwanted sexual experiences participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and a constructionist perspective. The findings were contextualized using the ecological model. Barriers to reporting included concerns about one’s story not being believed, personal minimization of the incident, belief that no action will be taken after reporting, confidentiality concerns, and other perceived costs of reporting. Survivors provided valuable insight on potentially effective prevention and intervention strategies to address the problem of unwanted sexual incidents on university campuses. These findings may be useful for prevention and intervention policies and programs in university settings and for providers who assist survivors of unwanted sexual experiences.

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