Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Sexual Violence Prevention and the College Campus : An Exploration of Student Experiences with Haven at Oregon State University Public Deposited

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  • For decades, sexual violence has been a persistent crisis and challenge for universities and colleges across the United States. In order to address this problem and adhere to the strict legal obligations that require post-secondary institutions to prevent sexual violence on their campuses, universities and colleges have implemented a range of sexual violence prevention programs. Financial costs and time restrictions have caused these institutions to turn towards online sexual violence prevention tools as a means to educate the thousands of students entering college each term. Little research has been conducted to determine the effectiveness of these programs and even less is known about student experiences pertaining to online sexual violence prevention programs. Oregon State University is one of the institutions using an online prevention program known as Haven to educate students on consent, healthy relationships, and sexual violence. The following study was developed in order to begin to address the gap in the literature on online sexual violence prevention education and the student experience. The research used a qualitative, constructivist research design and narrative inquiry methodology to gather data from ten participants through individual, semi-structured interviews. Several key implications were derived from the study. First, students are achieving educational outcomes from Haven in the form of knowledge on sexual violence and on bystander intervention skills. Second, students’ prior knowledge of sexual violence impacts their engagement with Haven. Third, there is inconsistency among students with regards to their understanding of sexual violence and how it manifests in their campus community. Fourth, students may feel disconnected from some of the Haven course material if they do not see themselves within bystander intervention scenarios, or do not recognize sexual violence as an on-campus phenomenon. Fifth, students faced significant challenges with the online format of Haven, which impacted their overall experience with the program. Sixth, students have various reasons and motives for intervening, or not intervening, in a risky situation. Several recommendations to address these challenges are discussed in the conclusion of the thesis, such as the need for universities and college to explore supplemental in-person prevention education, the timing of the program, and the accessibility of sexual violence support resources.
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