Changing Campus Culture: A Policy Scan Of Campus Sexual Violence Prevention And Response Procedures On Ohio’s Campuses

Sarah Nicole Hudacek


Estimates of the prevalence of campus sexual violence suggest that 1 in 5 college females and 1 in 16 males will be sexually assaulted. However, only about 20 percent of campus sexual assaults are reported to authorities. In 2015, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) released the “Changing Campus Culture” Report, with recommendations for preventing and responding to sexual violence.

The purpose of this research is to determine the extent of compliance with Report recommendations among Ohio’s universities. A policy scan of 14 public and 14 private institutions in Ohio was conducted in Spring 2016, before ODHE’s compliance deadline, and again in Fall 2016, after the deadline. Each institution’s Sexual Misconduct policies were analyzed to measure compliance with the five recommendations.

The results show that while most institutional policies met the recommendations that focused on response after sexual violence occurred, only a few institutional policies included information about prevention and education, such as utilizing a campus climate survey, comprehensive training programs, or awareness campaigns. Many policies contained negligent errors, were vague, or were not easily accessible. Given these results, there is an unequivocal need for substantial improvement in the incorporation of ODHE’s recommendations into policies of Ohio’s higher education institutions.

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