Researchers have come up with response protocols for sexual assault response teams that operate on campuses across the country. These sexual assault response teams are faced with multiple barriers when responding to reports of sexual assault that prevent their work from being effective to the same level as response teams operated by cities and counties. This comes from a study conducted by the University of Kansas.
The study from the task force at the University of Kansas created by a former chancellor is helping schools all throughout the Midwest and other regions of the country create individualized response protocols for reports of sexual assault. The task force was created during the 2014-2015 school year and consisted of three professionals from the school; associate professor Alesha Doan, assistant professor Juliana Carlson, and Medical Center associate professor Natabhona Mabachi.
What the task force created
The task force was responsible for creating the Heartland Sexual Assault Policies and Prevention on Campuses Project. The project was awarded a grant in 2016 from the United States Department of Health & Human Services. The group received the grant so it could study how higher education schools across the country respond to reports of sexual assault and then help these schools find better ways to handle these issues.
What the task force studied
The task force created by the former school chancellor was tasked with studying other studies conducted by universities and colleges that focused on sexual assault. The task force also studied reports released by local response teams that deal with sexual assault. The study found that college and university sexual assault response teams have a lack of resources (lack of funding and lack of time to address sexual assault problems) and a lack of defined purpose. The study also discovered another barrier faced by campus response teams: schools failing to evaluate the effectiveness of their response teams to responding to sexual assault reports.
Carlson said the following in a press release regarding the study:
“One of the things we’re very clear about is, instead of just trying something without evaluating it, there needs to be a measurement of its effectiveness,” Carlson said. “We didn’t see any of that in the literature. Because the concept and idea of developing a campus sexual assault response team is fairly new, there is not a whole lot of research out there on best practices and how to put together these teams.”
California schools’ response teams
Schools and universities in California are rolling out sexual assault response teams, if they already don’t have them in place to respond. Some of the schools in and around Los Angeles that have sexual assault response teams include the following:
- Los Angeles Southwest College
- Occidental College
- California State University Long Beach
- Los Angeles Valley College
Are you a victim of sexual assault on campus? Are you looking for someone to speak to about your experiences on campus? The compassionate and trusted team from Taylor & Ring is here to listen to your story and work to defend your rights against the offender. Call our office in Los Angeles today at 310-776-6390 to schedule a free consultation. You can also complete the contact form on the website and a member of the firm will reach out to you in a timely manner.