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Journal Article


Adhia A, Ellyson AM, Kroshus E. J. Interpers. Violence 2022; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2022, SAGE Publishing)






Sexual violence (SV) is a serious problem on college campuses, and student-athletes are one group of college students at risk for experiencing SV. The administrative context and close-knit bonds of college teams introduce opportunities and structures for responding to SV and delivering uniquely tailored prevention programming, but there is limited research about formal reporting of SV among student-athletes. The current study examines the prevalence of SV and SV reporting history and perceptions among a multi-state sample of undergraduate student-athletes. Student-athletes at 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I institutions across the US participated in an online survey about their experiences of SV victimization, formal reporting of SV, knowledge of resources, and perceptions of responses to SV at their institutions. Among 1004 student-athletes who completed the survey, 29% experienced some type of SV since enrolling at their university, with higher prevalence of SV among student-athletes on women's teams (36%) compared to men's teams (13%). About one fifth of student-athletes felt very or extremely knowledgeable about where to make a report of SV, and only about 10% felt very or extremely knowledgeable about what happens when a student reports SV. Only 9% of participants who experienced SV filed a formal report at their institution. Perceptions about whether campus officials would take the report seriously or would conduct a fair investigation were most positive for students who experienced and formally reported SV. Further research with student-athletes about their decision to formally report and barriers to reporting is needed to build a more comprehensive understanding of the unique experiences of SV among student-athletes. Our results highlight the importance of including and targeting student-athletes in campus SV prevention efforts to build knowledge and trust in hopes of ultimately decreasing the prevalence and adverse consequences of SV.

Language: en


campus sexual violence; college students; prevalence; reporting; student-athletes


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