SAFE-T System Research

A Strengths and Needs Assessment of Campus Sexual Assault Response

Miyamoto, S., Bittner, C., Delwiche, J., & Ganguli, A. (2023). A strengths and needs assessment of campus sexual assault response. Journal of Forensic Nursing, ():10.1097/ JFN.0000000000000452, November 6, 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000452



Sexual violence and sexual assault (SA) disproportionately affect the young adult population aged 18–24 years, half of which are enrolled in higher education. Campuses are tasked with providing a safe space for students and enacting an appropriate response to campus SA (CSA).


As part of a grant-funded program to strengthen SA nurse examiner (SANE) services to those who experience SA on college campuses, we conducted a campus needs assessment and a campus website review for key messaging and analyzed the responses to identify strengths and gaps in campus resources related to CSA. These findings were the basis of individualized Campus Community Summary reports shared with participants from each campus.


Guided qualitative interviews with interdisciplinary stakeholders across seven campus communities and campus website reviews were used to identify campus resource strengths, gaps, and recommendations for improvement.


Common strengths included awareness of campus programs and community services, leadership support for CSA activities, and community CSA response. Identified opportunities for improvement included strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration, solving transportation issues to obtain care, mental healthcare and advocacy services, awareness and resource messaging, and fighting stigma and bias. Campus websites reviews indicated gaps in key information about SANE care and how to access SANE services.


Numerous gaps and opportunities to strengthen campus SA awareness and coordination and access to a timely response to SA were identified. Addressing these gaps is essential to ensure quality care and services for individuals who experience SA on college campuses.