Secondary and 2-Year Outcomes of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women

Psychol Women Q. 2017 Jun;41(2):147-162. doi: 10.1177/0361684317690119. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


We report the secondary outcomes and longevity of efficacy from a randomized controlled trial that evaluated a novel sexual assault resistance program designed for first-year women university students. Participants (N = 893) were randomly assigned to receive the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) program or a selection of brochures (control). Perception of personal risk, self-defense self-efficacy, and rape myth acceptance was assessed at baseline; 1-week postintervention; and 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month postrandomization. Risk detection was assessed at 1 week, 6 months, and 12 months. Sexual assault experience and knowledge of effective resistance strategies were assessed at all follow-ups. The EAAA program produced significant increases in women's perception of personal risk, self-defense self-efficacy, and knowledge of effective (forceful verbal and physical) resistance strategies; the program also produced decreases in general rape myth acceptance and woman blaming over the entire 24-month follow-up period. Risk detection was significantly improved for the intervention group at post-test. The program significantly reduced the risk of completed and attempted rape, attempted coercion, and nonconsensual sexual contact over the entire follow-up period, yielding reductions between 30% and 64% at 2 years. The EAAA program produces long-lasting changes in secondary outcomes and in the incidence of sexual assault experienced by women students. Universities can reduce the harm and the negative health consequences that young women experience as a result of campus sexual assault by implementing this program. Online slides for instructors who want to use this article for teaching are available on PWQ's website at

Keywords: intervention; randomized controlled trial; resistance; self-defense; sexual assault.