Disclosure on Campus: Students’ Decisions to Tell Others About Unwanted Sexual Experiences, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking

Jennifer M. Demers, Sally K. Ward, Wendy A. Walsh, Victoria L. Banyard, Ellen S. Cohn, Katie M. Edwards, Mary M. Moynihan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The scope of student victimization occurring on college campuses is problematic, drawing the attention of researchers and campus officials. While most researchers of the disclosure of these unwanted experiences tend to examine just 1 form of victimization, a direct comparison of the disclosure of different types of campus victimization within a singular study is missing in the literature. The current study aimed to address this issue by examining 4 types of victimization experiences (unwanted sexual contact, unwanted sexual intercourse, intimate partner violence, and stalking) in a college population. A common set of possible predictors of disclosure were examined, including both demographic (e.g., gender, race, age) and situational factors (e.g., alcohol use, level of fear, relationship with perpetrator). While patterns of similarity across all victimization experiences emerged, the impact of gender, race, age, and alcohol use on disclosure decisions varied substantially by victimization type. The findings of this study address the gap in the current literature by providing a comparison and contrast of the influence of predictors across different types of victimization. Furthermore, the findings provide needed information that could help colleges and universities develop ways to encourage support-seeking and reporting among students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-75
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • College
  • disclosure
  • rape
  • relationship abuse
  • sexual assault
  • stalking

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