Monday, July 4, 2016

What works to prevent sexual violence?

In "A Critical Review of Sexual Violence Prevention on College Campuses," Newlands and O'Donohue report their extensive review of research on sexual-violence interventions on college campuses. Based on their analysis of what works, they recommend that campuses offer separate gender programs: self-defense and alcohol awareness programs for women and consent programs for men.

Alena Schaim (2016), IMPACT Director of New Mexico, notes that while their recommendations mirror what we already do in IMPACT, she is"disappointed they didn't directly address working with trans/gender non-conforming folks nor did they address head-on the assertions currently being made that it's better to do sex education (including consent) in mixed gender settings, because doing binary splits teaches that we shouldn't talk about sex with the 'opposite' gender."

My take: Newlands and O'Donohue's work supports the self-defense work IMPACT and other Empowerment Self-Defense organizations are doing on college campuses and, in fact, advocates for expanding those offerings. While this is good news, indeed, we also want to continue to expand our understandings of the complexities of gender and integrate these understandings into our programming.

Martha Thompson
IMPACT Chicago Instructor
NWMAF Certified Self-Defense Instructor

Newlands, Rory and William O'Donohue. 2016. "A critical review of sexual violence prevention on college campuses." Acta Psychopathologica 2(2): 40.

Schaim, Alena. 2016. Facebook post, Self-Defense Discussion Group, May 28.

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