Preferences and perceptions following sexual assault : a study exploring the awareness and use of support services, and estimated extent of sexual assault among American Indian women at one northwestern university
Van Houweling, Audry Beth
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Sexual assault is a national and global epidemic. This study focuses on American Indian women, who experience sexual assault at greater rates compared to all other racial groups and college students, who experience a high prevalence of sexual assault. This exploratory, mixed methods study considers the perceptions and preferences relative to sexual assault among American Indian college women. Specifically, this study explored the perceived barriers to reporting sexual assault, the perceived awareness of campus and community sexual assault services, preferred reporting patterns, and the perceived magnitude of sexual assault among American Indian college women while enrolled in a northwestern university and prior to enrollment. An anonymous online survey was distributed to American Indian students with the permission of an on-campus American Indian organization. A total of 31 responses were collected over a one-month time period from American Indian college women. The results suggested the need for improved sexual assault awareness and prevention strategies. Further research is needed to fully understand the implications of culture and the perceptions and preferences among American Indian college women. PLEASE NOTE: For purposes of confidentiality, the name of the northwestern university and information identifying the university's location were withheld throughout the body, references, and appendices of this document. The original survey sent to participants did identify the university and its location for reference purposes, but subsequently was removed and masked.