Strengthening Emory University’s Office of Respect’s Efforts for Providing Well-Being Resources to Sexual Assault Survivor Students on Campus Open Access

John, Taylor M (Spring 2024)

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Research indicates a significant gap in the provision of mental and emotional support for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence within educational institutions. Improving sexual violence intervention and support services is imperative for college aged women in the United States, specifically including students at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. For Emory University students, the problem is that students are lost on how/who to report, and where to seek services as a student when they have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or abuse during their time at the institution. The special studies project aims to synthesize and evaluate current sexual violence prevention/intervention services at Emory University and recommendation for improvements based on the research findings.


The study employed an implementation science framework, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, to identify strengths and areas for improvement in Emory University’s Office of Respect’s Efforts for Providing Well-Being Resources to Sexual Assault Survivor Students on CampusTo do this, the author undertook an extensive literature review, reviewed existing data, reports, and newspaper stories, and held two interviews and one focus group discussion. Subsequently, based on study results the author developed a resource guide aimed at addressing identified needs and enhancing support services related to mental health and sexual violence prevention on Emory's campus.


Emory University offers a variety of departments dedicated to addressing sexual violence and relationship harm prevention, awareness, and intervention strategies that reflect a dedication to supporting survivors, upholding accountability, and cultivating a culture of respect and consent within the campus community. Despite having these resources, there were identified areas for improvement, including training programs, diverse representation, community education, collaboration with off-campus resources, accessible reporting options and information. The project developed a guidebook, based on the input from focus groups and student dialogues, which sheds light on the extensive resources available for addressing interpersonal violence and supporting survivors on campus.


Through a comprehensive review of interdisciplinary studies, theoretical frameworks, and public health endeavors, three pivotal themes have emerged: the imperative to enhance sexual health literacy, the need for heightened awareness and prevention models surrounding

sexual violence, and the pressing call to address the mental and physical impacts of such violence within college communities. Based on the research findings, the author recommends that Emory University in conjunction with the Office of Respect and Title IX aim to implement the developed Sexual and Relationship Violence Resource Guide on their respective websites and create a tile on the students Canvas page so that information can be easily accessible and at the forefront of their most used tool.

Content warning disclaimer:

The following content may discuss topics related to sexual violence and trauma.The content of this thesis paper may trigger emotional distress or discomfort, especially for those who have experienced similar situations.The paper will discuss elements of trauma, relationship violence, and assault, but should not be seen as a substitute for professional help. If you find yourself in immediate distress or need professional assistance, please reach out to a licensed therapist, counselor, or contact a crisis hotline. Your mental and emotional well-being are paramount, and seeking appropriate support is encouraged.

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Definition of terms and abbreviations 5

Literature Review 9

Methods 18

Results 23

Discussion 26

Recommendation 28

Conclusion 30

References 32

Appendix 40

Focus Group Discussion Guide 40

Informal Interview Questions 44

Sexual and Relationship Harm Resource Guide 45

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