Evidence-based sexual assault resistance intervention in universities across Canada

Evidence-based sexual assault resistance intervention in universities across Canada

Establishing effectiveness and maximizing implementation of an evidence-based sexual assault resistance intervention in universities across Canada

Dr. Charlene Senn

University of Windsor

FUNDER: Canadian Institute of Health Research

GRANT DURATION: 2016-2020 (COVID Extension)

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Sexual assault of adult women in Canada is responsible for more than $1.9 billion a year in healthcare and other costs. As many as 1 in 4 women will experience rape or attempted rape while attending university. These experiences have immediate and long-term negative consequences on mental and physical health. With CIHR and Ontario Women's Health Directorate funding, our team of researchers developed the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act sexual assault resistance program, called EAAA for short.

In a clinical trial on 3 campuses, women who received the EAAA program experienced 46% fewer completed rapes and 63% fewer attempted rapes across one year than women in the control group. The proposed research is the important next step that will assess the impact of the EAAA when it is delivered at universities outside of a highly controlled research trial. A Train-the-Trainer model has been developed to transfer training and supervision of student facilitators to Campus Trainers at 9 Canadian universities. Universities will then offer the EAAA program to their female students and the procedures used to do so will be tracked. Trainers, facilitators, and students who register for the program will participate in research designed to examine how effective the program is in these naturalistic conditions, as well as to identify which factors are related to differences in the effects.

Results from this study will be shared with other researchers at conferences and through journal articles. Results will also be shared with various university and sexual violence prevention stakeholders across Canada in 3 regional workshops and used to maximize the effectiveness of the EAAA program as it is implemented across North America.


University of Guelph

  • Dr. Paula Barata

Tufts University

  • Dr. Misha Eliasziw

University Health Network

  • Dr. Gail McVey

University of Calgary

  • Dr. Lorraine Radtke
  • Dr. Wilfreda Thurston