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Distinguishing Between On-Campus and Off-Campus Sexual Victimization: A Brief Report
Violence and Gender  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-03-12, DOI: 10.1089/vio.2020.0029
Eryn Nicole O'Neal, Brittany E. Hayes, Andia M. Azimi

Campus sexual victimization has moved to the forefront of the academy's collective awareness, and recent years have seen drastic increases in scholarship and legal reforms directed at the sexual victimization of college women. Recently, campus climate scholars have turned their attention to the location of victimization given that off-campus areas, such as fraternity parties, have been historically conflated to suggest that one-in-five students experience sexual victimization (on campus) and that college campuses are the epicenters of the public health crisis. However, on-campus sexual victimization is not interchangeable with the sexual victimization of college women. Therefore, determining whether location of campus victimization has distinct correlates is important for efforts related to developing context-specific programs. To contribute to this discourse, this brief report explores the location of campus sexual victimization, specifically examining the types of incidents and contextual factors that occurred on campus compared to off campus. Data come from a campus climate survey drawn from a sample of courses offered during the spring 2017 semester at a southeastern university. Findings indicate that off-campus victimization is more common than on-campus victimization and that alcohol and drug consumption—voluntary and forced—are related to off-campus victimization. Findings suggest that protective behavioral strategies—as they relate to alcohol consumption—and bystander intervention programs may be promising approaches for universities. This study concludes with suggestions for reconceptualizing definitions of on- and off-campus locations.