Sexual Assault Resistance Education for University Women:  The Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) Sexual Assault Resistance Program also known to students as Flip the ScriptTM program

NEW Grant (2016-2020) and Next Steps – Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation
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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.  More information about this project.

Adapting and Evaluating EAAA (Flip the ScriptTM program) for High School Girls/Young Women

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Postdoctoral Fellow, Sara Crann, is working on adapting and evaluating the EAAA program for high school girls/young women.  This project involves two phases of research. The first phase will adapt the EAAA program for the social and developmental context of adolescence to produce a version of EAAA designed specifically for girls between 14 and 17 years old. The second phase will rigorously evaluate the adapted program. This research will be conducted in partnership with organizations and high schools/school boards across Ontario. We (Crann, Senn, Eliasziw) recently obtained funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (2018-2023) for this project.  Read more about Sara Crann and how to participate in this project.

Evaluating Recruitment Advertisements for a Sexual Assault Education Workshop (Flip the ScriptTM program)

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During the 2019-20 academic year, Dr. Charlene Senn, Dr. Nicole Jeffrey, and Ms. Emma Bailey conducted research with undergraduate women from the University of Windsor to identify the poster messages and images that undergraduate women find most interesting and motivating to register for the Flip the ScriptTM sexual assault resistance program (or others like it).

In the first study, we examined which poster advertisements (from a set of 13 pairs) university women found most compelling and would increase their hypothetical interest in participating in the program, along with some additional recruitment-related information. Based on these results, we were able to identify the top 8 posters. In the second study, we examined which of the remaining 8 posters were most positively viewed in terms of intention to register or desire to get more information (not just hypothetical interest), along with some additional recruitment-related information.

In general, the research demonstrated that there was high interest in and perceived relevance of this type of programming for university women. Certain design and message characteristics and supplementary information led to even higher registration intent. Our main findings are summarized below:

1.  After viewing any one of 13 advertisement messages in Study 1:

  • 47%–70% of participants were either very or somewhat interested in attending Flip the ScriptTM (depending on message).
  • 39%–61% of participants found the messages to be very or somewhat personally relevant (depending on message).

2.  After learning more information about Flip the ScriptTM in Study 1:

  • 85% of participants were either very or somewhat interested in attending Flip the ScriptTM.
  • 66% of participants thought Flip the ScriptTM seemed very or somewhat personally relevant.

3.  After viewing any one of 8 randomly assigned posters in Study 2:

  • 56% of participants wanted to sign up for (14%) or learn more about (41%) Flip the ScriptTM.

4.  After learning more information about Flip the ScriptTM in Study 2:

  • 53% of participants wanted to sign up for Flip the ScriptTM (more than 60% of whom reported that the poster message or visual design impacted their decision).
  • 11% of those who wanted to sign up clicked the external link to go to the Flip the ScriptTM webpage (an indication of wanting to sign up immediately or learn more).

5.  Participants were generally more interested in attending Flip the ScriptTM when they learned that: it is offered on their campus, it is free of charge, it teaches participants how to resist sexual assault, and refreshments and a certificate of completion are provided.

Bystander Initiative:  Sexual Assault Prevention

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In collaboration with Dr. Anne Forrest (Women’s and Gender Studies), I have conducted a number of research studies to evaluate the effectiveness of our campus activities related to the Bystander Initiative to Mitigate Sexual Assault on Campus (BI). We have studied the undergraduate students who take a 3-hr adaptation of the University of New Hampshire’s Bringing in the Bystander® workshop (see Senn & Forrest, 2015). In 2010, we began conducting a campus wide survey annually and will continue it until 2020. We will use this survey to evaluate whether our institutionalization model (See Forrest & Senn, 2017; Senn & Forrest, 2013) succeeds in producing a campus climate change. We have also conducted small studies to understand students’ reactions to the provincial Draw the Line campaign materials we use as a ‘booster’ each winter semester. More information about this project.

Women’s Experiences with Pornography

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I co-authored a chapter with Ana Bridges on this topic (Bridges, Senn & Andrews, 2013). Continuing an interest from early in my career, I continue to be interested in co-designing studies with my students exploring the intersections between pornography and other media and male violence against women.

Selected Research Collaborations

Empowerment through Self-Defense Global Research

“You’ve heard me say it, probably more than once: ESD has been crafted over the past forty-five years by women, many with backgrounds in social work, psychology, sociology, and education, AND martial arts, who have analyzed the types of violence that women, children, and other vulnerable populations are subject to and have built a holistic system of emotional, verbal and physical skills to combat a complicated spectrum of violence.
In recent years, researchers have documented the effectiveness of ESD. And here are some of those researchers and practitioners who recently met in Palo Alto, CA for the ESD Global Research Summit.
With a deep research commitment, they are working together to move the field forward. May the force be with them. More soon!”

Visit Empowerment through Self-Defense Global for more information on their project collaborations.


Back row: Jennifer Keller, Stanford University; Brieanne Beaujolais,The Ohio State University; Gal Harmat, World Peace Academy, UN University for Peace, and the Arts and Social Change College; Christine Gidycz, Ohio University; Jocelyn Hollander, University of Oregon; Charlene Senn, University of Windsor; Lindsay Orchowski, Brown University; Front row: Martha Thompson, Northeastern Illinois University and IMPACT Chicago; Darlene DeFour,Hunter College; and Amy Jones, Culture of Safety.

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