Rape Prevention Program Cut Assaults

A pilot program at Canadian colleges that taught women how to protect themselves from sexual assault cut the risk of rape by nearly 50 percent, researchers reported in a study. Roughly 450 freshman women who “attended sessions on assessing risk, learning self-defense, and defining personal sexual boundaries” reported a 5 percent rate of sexual assault during the first year of college, while a control group reported 10 percent. The gap for incidents of attempted assault was even wider: 3.4 percent for workshop attendees, and 9.3 percent for the control group. “Only 22 women would need to take the program in order to prevent one additional rape from occurring within one year,” the authors wrote. The program has come under fire, however, for putting the burden of preventing assault on college-aged women.