Sexual violence and other forms of sexual assault and coercion have a pervasive presence in the lives of many young people. School and community services and programs that are geared toward sexual assault awareness and prevention of sexual violence have thus been offered to youth in high-school settings. The goal of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of one such sexual assault awareness and prevention workshop designed and presented specifically for male and female youth aged 15 to 17 over a three month follow-up. A sample of 794 youth recruited from two schools were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions. Participants completed self-report outcome measures that assessed their knowledge of sexual assault, awareness of available resources, attitudes toward sexual assault, ability to identify sexual assault and to respond appropriately to a disclosure of sexual assault as well as sexual victimization. The data were analyzed using random coefficient analyses, which revealed that the workshop was effective in improving general knowledge regarding sexual assault, awareness of resources in the event of experiencing sexual assault, and attitudes regarding sexual assault. Participation in the program was also shown to enhance youth’s ability to recognize sexual assault in a dating context and to diminish hypothetical responses that deny or minimize sexual assault in a dating situation disclosed by a peer. With one exception, these improvements were similar for male and female youth. The results indicate that the workshop was effective and that revision of some aspects of the implementation could further maximize its impact.


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pp. 19-30
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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