PROGRAMS & TOOLS

PREVENTION
PROGRAMMING MATRIX

Enhanced Access, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) Sexual Assault Resistance

The EAAA program is a 12 hour, small-group, educational program designed to help college women resist acquaintance sexual assault. Rigorous program evaluation has demonstrated that the program reduces the risk of victimization.

Authors
SARE Centre
Image of Enhanced Access, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) Sexual Assault Resistance
Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
Enhanced Access, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) Sexual Assault Resistance
Supported By Evidence
  • In-person Workshop
  • Undergraduate students
This 12-hour course is for female-identified students
Learning Objectives

The EAAA program aims to

  • impress upon young women that they are at greatest risk of sexual assault from men they know, not from strangers
  • improve young women’s capacity to detect risk in men’s behavior and in the environment
  • help women overcome the emotional and social barriers to acknowledging these risks
  • debunk rape myths and woman-blaming
  • challenge the belief that women cannot successfully defend themselves against a (larger) male assailant
  • provide young women with the most effective tools for resisting sexual coercion and sexual assault
  • provide a space for young women to explore their own sexual desires and relationship values
  • reinforce the belief that sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator and never the fault of the victim
Methods
  • Uses mini-lectures, group activities, role-play, interactive games, and group discussion to present material on positive sexuality, sexual assault definitions and laws, rape myths, factors that increase risk of sexual assault, effective strategies for recognizing danger and resisting sexual assault, among other topics.
  • Activities allow participants to assess risk based on evidence; practice responding to coercive strategies; discuss emotional barriers to resistance; explore their own relationship and sexual values and practice negotiating wanted sexual activity.
  • Includes instruction on basic self-defense tactics focused on common acquaintance sexual assault situations and designed specifically to be effective against a larger attacker.
Dosage

Four sessions, each three hours long

Logistics

Materials needed to implement the EAAA program include: an EAAA Program Kit (provided with Campus Trainer workshop, a computer and projector, 2 presentation easels, 2 strike pads, and several print-outs. Visit this page for more details about the implementation logistics.

Population Served

Female undergraduate students

Theoretical Basis For Approach

The EAAA program is based on feminist and social psychological theory, most notably Nurius and Norris’s (1996) cognitive ecological model of women’s responses to sexual coercion as well as reviews of research evidence (i.e., by Rozee and Koss (2011) and Ullman (1997) on the most effective strategies for resisting sexual assault).The fourth unit dealing with positive sexuality is adapted from the Our Whole Lives Sexuality (OWLS) education curricula (Kimball, 2000).

Program Effectiveness

The University of Windsor conducted a rigorous evaluation of the program using a randomized-control design. The study demonstrated the 1-year risk of rape was significantly lower among those who completed the EAAA program (Senn et al., 2015). Further research has determined that these effects last for up to 2 years (Senn et al., 2017). In addition, the program reduced women-blaming as well as self-blame in women who took the program and were subsequently sexually assaulted. The CDC (Basile et al., 2016) has recently included this program as one of the very few programs (of any type) available with demonstrated effectiveness for sexual assault prevention.

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Carleton University, University of Windsor, Concordia University of Edmonton, University of Otago, and Florida Atlantic University.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADMINIsTRATORS

This program has demonstrated efficacy in reducing the incidence of rape, attempted rape, and other forms of sexual violence, which no other programs on this website have accomplished. This type of evidence could make it easier to get buy-in and funding to implement the program. Because the program is only for students who identify as women, most campuses will only be able to implement it as supplementary to required programming for incoming students. Keep in mind that there may be resistance from stakeholders to bringing in a program that emphasizes self-defense as a risk-reduction tactic, since the field has been moving away from this approach because many feel it has contributed to a culture of victim-blaming.

HOW TO ACCESS THIS PROGRAM

The SARE Centre offers a 6-day EAAA Train the Trainer workshop. The cost is $3,000 for American institutions and $3,500 plus tax for Canadian institutions. Visit the website or contact SARE Centre for more information.

Sources

Basile, K. C., DeGue, S., Jones, K., Freire, K., Dills, J., Smith, S. G., & Raiford, J. L. (2016). STOP SV: A technical package to prevent sexual violence. Retrieved from Atlanta, Georgia: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-prevention-technical-package.pdf 

Kimball, R.S. (2000). Our Whole Lives: sexuality for adults. Boston: Unitarian Universalist Association.

Nurius, P. S., & Norris, J. (1996). A cognitive ecological model of women's response to male sexual coercion in dating. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 8(1), 117-139.

Rozee, P.D., Koss, M.P., (2001). Rape: A Century of Resistance. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 25 (4), 295-311. doi: 10.1111/1471-6402.00030

Senn, C.Y., Eliasziw, M., Barata, P.C., Thurston, W.E., Newby-Clark, I.R., Radtke, L., & Hobden, K.L. (2015, June 11). Efficacy of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women. New England Journal of Medicine, 372 (24), 2326 - 2335. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1411131

Senn, C. Y., Eliasziw, M., Hobden, K. L., Newby-Clark, I. R.,  Barata, P. C., Radtke, H. L., & Thurston, W. E. (2017). Secondary and 2-Year Outcomes of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 0361684317690119.

Ullman, S.E. (1997).  Review and critique  of  empirical studies of rape avoidance. Criminal Justice  Behavior, 24(2), 177-204. doi: 10.1177/0093854897024002003