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
# Response How It Works Works Best If... Considerations
1 Conducting acquaintance rape prevention programs for college men in general Removes excuses for rape by increasing men's knowledge …programs are designed to change behavior, not just attitudes, and coincide with high-risk times Finding 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
2 Conducting acquaintance rape risk-reduction programs for college women Increases the effort offenders must make to commit rape and increases offenders' risk that they will be identified …programs are designed to change behavior, not just increase knowledge It is the victim's choice whether to report a rape and identify the offender; however, colleges should strongly support reporting, even anonymous reporting
3 Developing risk reduction plans to prevent repeat victimization Increases the effort offenders must make …college counseling personnel work with prior victims—without blaming them—to develop individualized risk reduction plans May 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
4 Educating police about acquaintance rape of college students Increases the likelihood that police will participate in developing appropriate rape reduction initiatives for students …police are trained before classes start Often requires police to examine their prevention and investigation approaches to acquaintance rape
5 Conducting acquaintance rape prevention programs for college administrators, campus judicial officers and other key campus personnel Increases campus personnel's knowledge and enables personnel to appropriately deal with victims and offenders …programs are completed before classes start Requires extensive coordination, open access to campus personnel, and school leaders' commitment to support rape prevention efforts
6 Conducting acquaintance rape prevention programs geared toward campus athletes and fraternity members Removes excuses for rape by changing men's attitudes toward women and setting explicit rules …coaches, fraternity leaders and fraternity alumni leaders support the programs Programs should be presented as a means to prevent harm, not as a punishment
Responses With Limited Effectiveness
# Response How It Works Works Best If... Considerations
7 Providing student escort and/or shuttle services Reduces the risk of stranger rape …combined with comprehensive efforts to reduce acquaintance rape Campus women's groups often advocate these services
8 Providing rape aggression defense training Increases the effort stranger rapists must make …combined with comprehensive efforts to reduce acquaintance rape, in particular Campus women's groups often advocate this training