Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Summary of Responses

The table below summarizes the responses to acquaintance rape of college students, the mechanism by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

Key Responses
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If...Considerations
1Conducting acquaintance rape prevention programs for college men in generalRemoves excuses for rape by increasing men's knowledge…programs are designed to change behavior, not just attitudes, and coincide with high-risk timesFinding adequate time for programs before or during high-risk times; researchers recommend combining the programs with prevention programming targeting other forms of sexual assault and also with substance abuse revention programs
2Conducting acquaintance rape risk-reduction programs for college womenIncreases the effort offenders must make to commit rape and increases offenders' risk that they will be identifiedprograms are designed to change behavior, not just increase knowledgeIt is the victim's choice whether to report a rape and identify the offender; however, colleges should strongly support reporting, even anonymous reporting
3Developing risk reduction plans to prevent repeat victimizationIncreases the effort offenders must makecollege counseling personnel work with prior victimswithout blaming themto develop individualized risk reduction plansMay be difficult to identify prior victims; victims must choose to come forward and may do so only if they think more good than harm will come from it
4Educating police about acquaintance rape of college studentsIncreases the likelihood that police will participate in developing appropriate rape reduction initiatives for studentspolice are trained before classes startOften requires police to examine their prevention and investigation approaches to acquaintance rape
5Conducting acquaintance rape prevention programs for college administrators, campus judicial officers and other key campus personnelIncreases campus personnel's knowledge and enables personnel to appropriately deal with victims and offendersprograms are completed before classes startRequires extensive coordination, open access to campus personnel, and school leaders' commitment to support rape prevention efforts
6Conducting acquaintance rape prevention programs geared toward campus athletes and fraternity membersRemoves excuses for rape by changing men's attitudes toward women and setting explicit rulescoaches, fraternity leaders and fraternity alumni leaders support the programsPrograms should be presented as a means to prevent harm, not as a punishment
Responses With Limited Effectiveness
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If...Considerations
7Providing student escort and/or shuttle servicesReduces the risk of stranger rapecombined with comprehensive efforts to reduce acquaintance rapeCampus women's groups often advocate these services
8Providing rape aggression defense trainingIncreases the effort stranger rapists must makecombined with comprehensive efforts to reduce acquaintance rape, in particularCampus women's groups often advocate this training