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Johns Hopkins students surveyed about sexual violence on campus

Results will help inform stronger university, national policies

Johns Hopkins students are being asked to participate in a survey that will inform stronger policies and new efforts to combat sexual violence on their campuses and at institutions nationwide.

"As universities across the country engage in an ongoing dialogue around the serious problem of sexual assault on campus, Johns Hopkins is among those looking to guide our efforts with empirical data and information," said Robert C. Lieberman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, in an email to students. That email, sent Thursday and again on Monday, included a link for each student to take the survey.

Provost Lieberman encouraged all students to help researchers learn more about the prevalence and risk factors of sexual assault, student perceptions of problems and responses on JHU campuses, and student understanding of available resources. "Results of this anonymous survey will inform our decisions, help us evaluate our strengths and weaknesses, and support peer-reviewed academic research," he said.

The survey results will also be shared with the White House Initiative to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to help leaders shape national policies.

It's On Us Hopkins, an awareness effort led by students as part of the White House's national It's On Us campaign, is supporting the survey and encouraging JHU students to take part.

Jacquelyn Campbell and Bushra Sabri, both faculty members at JHU's School of Nursing, are conducting the survey and they worked collaboratively with students in its development.

"We need to hear the opinions and experiences of all students in order to close the gaps in our knowledge about what is happening and how the climate is perceived by the campus community," Sabri said.

She said surveys at other universities with response rates of 25 percent or lower have not given researchers a complete and unbiased picture of the issue. "We hope everyone can take a few minutes, use the link they were sent, and make this important contribution to the safety and health of their fellow students," she said.

The survey takes 15 to 20 minutes, and those who do complete it can enter to win $10, $25, or $50. Answers will be kept separate from identifying information—such as entries for the drawing—to protect the anonymity of all participants.

More information about the survey and resources for students can be found on the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention website. Individuals with questions can email Campbell and Sabri at its-on-us-hopkins@jhu.edu.

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