Date of Graduation

12-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Department

Human Development, Family Sciences and Rural Sociology

Advisor/Mentor

Wiersma-Mosley, Jacquelyn

Committee Member/Reader

Wiersma-Mosley, Jacquelyn

Committee Member/Second Reader

Jozkowski, Kristen

Committee Member/Third Reader

Williams, Amanda

Abstract

The current study examined sexual victimization among college students with disabilities. Previous research has examined the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and the risk factors for experiencing such violence. The current study used an online survey administered to students with disabilities (n = 187) at a large southern university. All students reported one or multiple disabilities: Physical disabilities (44%), ADHD/ADD (51%), Learning disabilities (26%), and Emotional disabilities (48%). Most students reported more than one disability (56%). Overall, 71% of the sample experienced one or more types of sexual assault and/or rape in their lifetime, and 51% reported sexual victimization since attending the university. There were no significant differences in experiencing sexual assault and/or rape between students with one vs. more than one disability. Contextual characteristics of the victim experiences modeled previous research on campus sexual assault: most identified that the perpetrators were men that the victim knew or had a close relationship with including friends or romantic partners. Victimization occurred in the victims’ home and most students reported having consumed alcohol directly before or during the assault. Considering the extremely high rates of sexual victimization among this sample, future research and prevention are clearly warranted. Findings may help inform future prevention efforts to help decrease sexual violence among students with disabilities on college campuses.

Keywords: Sexual assault, rape, students with disabilities, perpetrator

Keywords

Sexual assault, rape, students with disabilities, perpetrator

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