William F. Flack, Jr., Associate Professor of Psychology
Almost all research on sexual assault victimization among undergraduate university students pertains to incidents that occur on domestic college and university campuses. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of sexual assault victimization and related factors among undergraduates in the context of study-abroad programs. Two hundred eight female students (52% response rate) from a small university in the northeastern United States who had recently studied abroad responded to an online survey containing measures of sexual assault, posttraumatic stress responses (PSR), and alcohol consumption. Almost 19% of the respondents indicated one or more types of sexual assault victimization. Approximately 17% reported non-consensual sexual touching, 7% attempted rape, 4% rape, with 9% reporting attempted rape or rape. As in domestic studies, victimization in this sample was related positively to alcohol consumption and PSR. Use of force was the most frequently reported perpetrator tactic. In sum, the high rates of sexual assault victimization reported by this sample during study abroad replicate previous findings. This context requires further attention from sexual assault researchers, especially given the increasing numbers of university students engaging in study abroad, and from campus support personnel who may be unaware of the likelihood of assault in this context.
The Author(s) 2014.
Flack, William F. Jr.; Kimble, Matthew O.; Campbell, Brooke E.; Hopper, Allyson B.; Peterca, Oana; and Heller, Emily J. “Sexual Assault Victimization Among Female Undergraduates During Study Abroad: A Single Campus Survey Study.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 30, no. 20 (2015) : 3453-3466.