UNT’s sexual assault perspectives survey shows need for more bystander, peer training

UNT’s sexual assault perspectives survey shows need for more bystander, peer training

UNT’s sexual assault perspectives survey shows need for more bystander, peer training
February 14
22:27 2018

UNT students expressed moderate confidence in their ability to intervene as a bystander and expressed low levels of confidence in peer empathetic response toward sexual misconduct and consent, according to a university survey.

The university released the results for Assessment of Sexual Assault Perspectives (ASAP) survey on Feb. 1, sending the results to students’ UNT email addresses.

UNT’s Title IX Coordinator Inya Baiye said conducting this survey was about getting baseline data so the university could see the effectiveness of prevention and education efforts.

“We’re in a different place from our students, as administrators,” she said. “For us to be able to speak adequately to our students’ concerns, we need to know what those concerns are.”

Conducting the survey

The university conducted the ASAP survey between Feb. 13 and March 28 of the 2017 spring semester, sending students links to the survey via their UNT emails. The survey was also advertised through the Dean of Students (DOS) and the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) websites, Blackboard and posters.

UNT used The Administrator-Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3) survey and partnered with Texas Woman’s University, along with seven other higher institutions and five organizations, for a $750,000 U.S. Health and Human Services grant.

This partnership is part of the Cultivating Safe College Campuses Consortium, for which this grant is intended to help create “a consistent and effective response to campus sexual assault in participating Texas institutions of higher education,” according to the ASAP survey results.

“When we got into our consortium, that [surveys] was one of the things that the consortium had recommended to do as well,” Baiye said. “Which is to survey the population and do it for three years.”

TWU’s Center for Research, Design and Analysis (CRDA) analyzed the collected survey information, performing a validity check and applying weighting procedures to correct for any disparities between the sample characteristics and UNT’s characteristics.

The original number of survey responses were 3,058 before a validity check which reduced the valid responses to 2,637, which is 7.4% of the UNT population at the time.

The validity check eliminated responses where the participant either completed the survey in too short of a time, incorrectly answered more than half of the attention trap questions or quit the survey before reaching the sexual harassment sections according to the survey results.

“I didn’t have a specific [participant] percentage goal,” Baiye said. “Ideally, I’d love for every student on campus to take the survey, but that’s unlikely to happen.”

Survey demographic questions concerned areas ranging from age and race to classification and living situation. In terms of the actual survey, there were 19 survey modules students were asked about, including topics such as sexual misconduct victimization and perpetration, perceptions of campus climate, anticipated peer response and bystander intervention.

Complete findings of the survey

The survey revealed in two of the 19 survey modules, Module 14: Anticipated Responses from Peers and Module 16: Bystander Intervention, survey respondents didn’t answer in ways that were consistent with survey outcomes. Because of this finding, UNT will focus on new campus-wide initiatives to help improve these module areas.

“As far as the anticipated responses from peers, I can’t say that I know exactly why students would indicate that they have concerns about that,” Baiye said. “It’s something we have to delve into and that’s part of what we are planning to do, actually, with our survey data.”

Baiye said they want to pull in people who are experts in health promotion and education, using their expertise to better understand the data and how to target that issue.

“As far as the bystander intervention piece of it, the program that we’ve introduced is Green Dot,” Baiye said. “But it takes time to change a culture. So, we’re going to have to see how our campus response to Green Dot [is].”

While responses for Module 4: Perception of Campus Climate Regarding Sexual Misconduct and Module 13: Response Usefulness were ideal, the university plans to introduce new programming alongside what already exists.

Respondents also reported above-average perceptions of campus safety, satisfaction with UNT’s response to campus sexual violence and a positive perception of campus climate towards sexual misconduct according to the results.

In terms of data surrounding whether respondents experienced sexual violence, 13.6 percent said they had been a victim – 18.1 female, 8.9 percent male and 8.5 percent first-year students. However, only 2.2 percent of respondents reported they perpetrated sexual violence.

A total of 12.2 percent of participants said they had been victims of dating violence and 17.4 percent reported being a victim of stalking.

Planned programming

UNT plans to implement two new programs specifically designed to help with bystander and peer training where sexual misconduct is concerned: Green Dot and Eagle Watch. Green Dot is a bystander intervention training program and Eagle Watch targets intervention in instances of sexual misconduct, relationship violence and gender or power differentials.

Undecided senior Stephanie Irazarrii said she appreciates the university’s efforts in trying to combat misconduct. “Everybody can talk about it. They can agree, disagree about what is going on,” she said. “But if action is not taken, then it really shows that nobody cares.”

Beyond Green Dot and Eagle Watch, the university plans to implement three more programs: It’s On Us, White Ribbon Campaign and One Love. It’s On Us aims to end sexual assault while the White Ribbon Campaign, for which the university is working with athletics starting with the football team, aims to end male violence against women and girls.

When deciding what programs to implement, Baiye said they focused on the results.

“We looked at the grades that we had and also the summary of the results as given by the consortium and things that they talked about,” Baiye said. “So, the response from peers, bystander intervention, those, of course, were two of the things that came up.”

UNT is also working on improving participating in programs led by Counseling and Testing Services and the Meadows Center for Health Resources by developing a marketing campaign. Specific programs where the university wants to enhance participation include CAREfrontation, IMPACT and The Healing Arts Showcase.

In November 2018, UNT plans to roll out Men’s Health Month initiatives, partnering with Denton County Friends of the Family to develop programs about healthy relationship strategies.

“We are still in development around the specifics of that,” Baiye said. “But that is a desire that quite a few of us have and that I think is part of the national conversation, which is trying to get more male participation in programs relating to interpersonal violence.”

Baiye says they want to make sure they aren’t limited in their scope. Using language to ensure that no one is alienated and is inclusive is part of that.

“Anything that [UNT] could do,” business computer information systems (BCIS) junior Nancy Casarrubias said. “I feel like they should.”

The 2017 ASAP survey results can be found here.

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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