Sexual Assault Resistance Education for University Women: The Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) Sexual Assault Resistance Program also known to students as “Flip the Script”
NEW Grant (2016-2020) and Next Steps – Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation
EAAA Implementation Research – Examining factors affecting program effectiveness — up to 9 Canadian campuses (2016-2021)
I (with co-investigators Barata, Radtke, Eliasziw, Thurston & McVey and collaborator Deb Chard, Wen-Do Women’s Self Defence) have received funding from the CIHR to study the implementation and scale-up of the EAAA program on Canadian university campuses. This research will determine the impact of decisions that campuses make in how to recruit participants and deliver the program as well as a number of other factors in maintenance of the fidelity and effectiveness of the program.
We are looking to enroll an additional 4-5 Canadian universities in the study over the next two years. We are particularly interested in enrolling universities in Western and Eastern Canada. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
In 2016 I developed, piloted, and revised a Train the Trainer workshop to which universities, colleges, and community groups can send staff to become EAAA Campus/Community Trainers. Once trained, these Trainers are qualified (with some support from SARE Centre and Wen-Do) to train EAAA Program Facilitators to deliver the EAAA intervention on their campuses or in their communities.
For universities involved in the research, the Train the Trainer workshops will be offered annually. For universities wishing to implement but who cannot (e.g., U.S.) or do not wish to be part of the research, the Train the Trainer workshops will be offered through the SARE Centre, a nonprofit organization I recently founded to support the implementation of the EAAA program in postsecondary institutions across North America.
EAAA Randomized Controlled Trial – Efficacy on 3 Canadian campuses (2011-2016)
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) funded by a 2011-2016 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating grant) evaluated the efficacy of the EAAA Sexual Assault Resistance program on three Canadian university campuses. Over 900 women were randomly assigned to receive either the EAAA intervention (resistance group) or brief exposure to brochures (control group). Women’s experiences of sexual assault were assessed before the intervention and again at one week, 6, 12, 18, and (for half the sample) 24 months after the intervention. Compared to women in the control group, women in the resistance group were 46% less likely to have experienced a completed rape and 63% less likely to have experienced an attempted rape in the year following the intervention. We now know that the reductions in sexual assault and positive outcomes on self-confidence, attitudes, and knowledge are maintained for at least 2 years. Further, women who experience a sexual assault following their participation in EAAA blame themselves less than women who have not attended EAAA.
The results of this research were first published in the June 11, 2015 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. A three-minute video describing the study results can be viewed on NEJMs youtube channel.
Then … The two-year and secondary outcomes were published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly in 2017.
The full study protocol as well as a description of the baseline sample was published in separate issues of BMC’s Women’s Health, BMC Women’s Health.2013, 13:25. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6874-13-25 and BMC Women’s Health 2014, 14:135 doi:10.1186/s12905-014-0135-4, respectively.
The EAAA program is the culmination of over 10 years of research, development and pilot testing. The initial Assess, Acknowledge, Act (AAA) program was carefully designed to reduce woman-blaming/self-blaming attitudes and beliefs and succeeds in achieving that goal (see Senn, Gee, & Saunders, 2008). The program was recently evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in which the one-year incidence of completed and attempted rape was reduced by 46% and 63% respectively, for women who took the EAAA intervention compared to women in the control group.
The EAAA is now available to universities and colleges through the SARE Centre non-profit and a Train-the-Trainer model. See SARECentre.org for more detail.