Washington: New web-based training program has been created in order to reduce the number of sexual assaults on US campuses.
According to Dr. Laura Salazar from Georgia State University, the program called RealConsent, which is targeted at college-aged men, reduced sexually violent behavior and increased the likelihood that a male student would intervene to prevent a sexual assault.
The program's training modules were designed to help young men develop empathy for rape victims and to understand the potential legal risks of having sex when one or both partners have been drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Salazar said the Web-based approach, which wasn't focused on "men are rapists," made training more cost effective for colleges than in-person, small-group formats, with the promise of reaching many more students.
More than 700 male undergraduate students at a large university were recruited to take part in the study, which surveyed them before the start of the training modules, after the training and six months later. The six-month follow-up found RealConsent participants were more likely to intervene to prevent sexual assault and less likely to perpetrate sexual violence than a control group.
Salazar said the next step was to develop web-based training for young women.
The findings are published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.