Signature Research Project

Sexual violence is a widespread problem on campuses globally, with up to one in four undergraduate women and some men affected, sometimes with life-altering consequences.

To address this problem, we have partnered with UC Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE) advocates on each UC campus and partner universities in the global south on sexual violence research and program evaluation. Our multidisciplinary expertise in gender studies, sociology, behavioral economics, law, health sciences, and research methods complements the work of the UC Task Force on Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault and CARE programs.

Approach and specific aims

Our signature project supports work to assess campus climates, track the incidence of sexual violence, and evaluate interventions to reduce sexual violence on campuses. The COE will specifically fund development and pilot work to support grant proposals for larger scale funding opportunities.

Aim 1. Develop assessment measures and a compendium.

We will support work to review and select measures on sexual violence applicable across UC and international partners' campuses. This work builds on the COE's compendium of empowerment measures and theories. We will also address the utility of innovative assessment modalities such as social media surveillance and surveys administered via text message and mobile-web surveys.

Aim 2: Pilot test and validate assessments with UC and international campus partners.

Using pilot studies with at least three UCs and an international university, we will gather accurate data on sexual violence attitudes, prevalence, and incidence, overcoming the underreporting inherent in formal reports filed with campus authorities or police. Program and policy evaluation will follow. The COE will also provide technical assistance for survey implementation, including boosting response rates, analyzing results, and disseminating findings.

Aim 3: Develop and disseminate measurement and evaluation toolkit.

Pilot studies' results will inform development of a refined toolkit for measuring sexual violence on any campus. The toolkit will include a manual, a core set of measures, optional modules, sample surveys, and recommendations for implementation and analysis. The COE will promote and distribute the toolkit broadly through website and social media and make ongoing technical assistance.