A Canadian college rape prevention program has shown impressive results and represents a potential solution for this matter.
After a recent study pointed out that rape has reached “epidemic levels” in university campuses, it was heavily debated how to intervene in order to improve this situation.
The study relayed that as many as one in five girls are raped during their college years, and this is a truly overwhelming number. The most victims are among freshmen, as they are the most vulnerable group.
There are many factors that contribute to the large number of freshmen rapes. For many of them, it is the first time that they have to take care of themselves alone, which is more complicated than buying your own food and washing your own clothes.
Many college students experiment with alcohol and drugs for the first time during their college years, and this affects both the victims and the culprits. It is extremely easy to lose control with something you do not have a hold of yet.
The Canadian trial program however has concentrated on improving this situation. It was conducted at the Universities of Calgary, Windsor and Guelph.
As many as 900 subjects, with ages from 17 to 24, took part in the two-year trial. One group received a 12-hour course on how to keep away from the high-risk situations that usually lead to rape.
The students were also shown how to defend themselves from potential rapists. Also, they were taught how to clearly define their sexual boundaries.
The second group in the study only received brochures on how to keep themselves protected. Then, both groups were then asked to complete a survey one year later, in order to assess the results.
The effects of the training program were quite impressive. The students who received the training course faced a risk of rape of only 5%, compared to the 10% risk identified in the brochure group.
Even the risk of attempted rape was lower for the students in the course group. It was 3.4% for them, compared to the 9.3% risk that the women in the brochure group faced.
This study was published in New England Journal of Medicine and it constitutes a great beacon of hope for college girls all around the world.
Many people believe that it would greatly improve the matter if serious consequences were introduced for the rapists. However, many of the victims do not speak out because they feel ashamed and because they feel that they are to blame for what happened to them.
Hopefully, training courses will be provided for all college students in the future along with counseling, as this bares great weight in the improvement of this situation.
Image Source: alumni.dartmouth.edu