An inclusive university is a safe university
Implementing an evidence-based sexual assault resistance programme
Sexual assault (that is, penetrative and non-penetrative sexual contact, often obtained by threat, coercion, incapacitation, or lack of affirmative consent) has become an important topic at universities around the world. Research by Rutgers shows the urgency of engaging with this subject at UM: 1 in 5 young, university-aged women in the Netherlands have experienced sexual assault (de Graaf & Wijsen, 2017). One of the ways sexual assault can be decreased is through effective prevention measures. In February 2020, an evidence-based training called the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) programme was piloted at University College Maastricht. EAAA is a highly interactive course taught by peer students which goes beyond the traditional self-defense course by allowing participants to assess risk based on evidence, discuss common barriers to resistance, practice responding to coercive strategies, and explore personal relationship and sexual values. The pilot was received well by participants, most of whom would strongly recommend the course to a fellow student.
This D&I grant gives us the possibility to continue to implement EAAA for the wider UM community for the coming two years with the hope of it becoming a sustainable aspect of UM’s prevention activities.
This project is a joint collaboration between students and colleagues from the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Cecilia Marziali, Bella Rix, Gesa Lange, Alice Wellum), and students and colleagues from the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (Esmee Halmans, Elizabeth Adams, Petra Hurks).