Media Coverage and Research in the News
‘Empowerment Self-Defense’ Programs Make Women Safer. Why Don’t More Colleges Use Them?
“This kind of training works. At least, that’s what the early research suggests. A study of one of the programs, Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act — known as EAAA or Flip the Script — found that women who completed it were half as likely to be raped as women who didn’t. Data for Oregon’s current “Women’s Self-Defense” course are still being collected, but an earlier version of the class cut the women’s rate of sexual victimization by 37 percent.”
Read about Dr. Charlene Senn and other heroes in the fight to end gender-based violence in an article by Flannery Dean for FLARE magazine
Few academics that study violence against women can claim to have played a role in reducing incidences of perpetration. But they’re not all Charlene Senn. The University of Windsor professor’s sexual assault prevention program, Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act Sexual Assault Resistance Program (ESAAA), or “Flip the Script” for short, has been shown to reduce rape by half, and attempted rape by more than two-thirds among participants.
Ending sexual violence: Uncomfortable truths and reasons for hope
Empowering women: Flip the Script™ aims to empower female university students with knowledge of risks, relationships and sexuality and self-defense skills. Developed by Dr. Charlene Senn, a Canada Research Chair in Sexual Violence at the University of Windsor, the program has shown significant effects in reducing women’s victimization.
Making Campuses Safer: Psychologist-designed programs are showing some success at preventing sexual assault on college campuses, but there are no one-size-fits-all solutions
“”Bystander programs help all the students on campus take responsibility to intervene—but there isn’t usually a bystander there,” says Charlene Senn, PhD, a psychology professor and Canada Research Chair in Sexual Violence at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. A young woman alone in her dorm room with a potential assailant—be it a friend, an acquaintance or a date—needs other tools to resist coercion.”
Policy is not enough: Universities need a comprehensive approach to preventing sexual assault, experts say
““Good sexual violence policies and procedures are necessary in universities and every organization should have them, but they are not enough and they are not prevention,” says Senn, who is also a professor at the University of Windsor.”
View for Charlene Senn’s Webinar on “The Feminist EAAA Sexual Assault Resistance Program for Young Women in University: How it works and what it does and does not accomplish” (delivered September 11, 2018).
Health Minister learns about effective sexual assault prevention program
It is a rare opportunity when a government minister requests a presentation on your research. That is exactly the experience of Charlene Senn, PhD, Canada Research Chair, and Professor in the Applied Social Psychology Graduate Program within the Department of Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies program, when Federal Health Minister, the Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, was in Windsor recently.
The EAAA program is geared toward first-year university students, because it is a period of time where students face the highest risk for sexual assault. It empowers young, self-identified women to trust their judgement and overcome social pressures to be “nice” when their sexual integrity is threatened.
Want to end sexual violence? Feminist self-defence is the only proven solution. Programs to change men show almost no evidence of reducing sexual violence. – apolitical
Empowerment Self-Defence (ESD) is an explicitly feminist set of self-defence principles pioneered by grassroots women’s movements in the 1960s and 70s but with much earlier roots in the women’s movements of the early 20th century. Unlike most martial arts, the focus is not solely on repelling an attacker in the street: ESD most often includes training on assertiveness, consent, de-escalation, a range of physical strategies to rebuff without injuring, as well as harder physical resistance strategies. Teaching an array of strategies — not just fighting skills — is vital when seven in every 10 rapes is perpetrated by someone known to the victim, and when few sexual assaults occur as surprise attacks in public spaces.
Feminist teaching content on the gendered inequality of power, owning one’s body and assertiveness are as important as the physical skills acquired.
Flipping the Script on Campus Sexual Assault – Ms. Magazine
“Based on the “Assess, Acknowledge, Act” idea developed by sexual violence researchers Patricia Rozee and Mary Koss, Senn’s enhanced program is a sexual assault resistance program designed for first-year women on college campuses and built within “a positive sexuality framework where women’s desires are at the center.””
Equipping Women to Stop Campus Rape
“Two years after the course ended, the results still held for attempted rape, while rapes were 31 percent lower than in the control group. Those results are especially impressive because the study was very strong — a randomized control trial carried out with 893 female students at three Canadian universities. Evidence-Based Programs, a website that evaluates research, cites Flip the ScriptTM as one of only 10 programs in any field that it has placed in its Top Tier — the only one in violence prevention that made the grade.”
Teaching women self-defence still the best way to reduce sexual assaults: study – Globe & Mail
“A landmark Canadian study instructed participants on how to confront the risk of sexual assault on campus, reports Erin Anderssen. While it’s a partial solution – and an imperfect one – research shows resistance tactics work”
College Rape Prevention Program Proves a Rare Success – New York Times
““It’s an important, rigorous study that shows that resistance and self-defense training needs to be part of college sexual assault prevention,” said Sarah E. Ullman, a professor of criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who was not involved in the research.”
TM Trademark of the SARE Centre