Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > An Evaluation of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center Community Education Programs

Background: According to a 2011 nationally representative survey of adults, 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men in the US reported being raped at some time in their lives. Attitudes and beliefs such as racism, sexism, and homophobia are the most pervasive and frequent forms of sexual violence (SV), and may be precursors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. These attitudes and beliefs are often expressed during adolescence through bullying, and there is emerging evidence of a link between bullying prevention and SV perpetration prevention. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC) conducts school-based SV prevention programs that aim to prevent bullying and sexual bullying among young adolescents. Evaluations of school-based interventions specifically focusing on SV perpetration prevention are rare, and OCRCC had not previously conducted systematic evaluations of their SV perpetration prevention programs. Our Capstone team conducted process and outcome evaluations of three of OCRCC's curricula, which aim to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment in order to prevent SV perpetration. Methods: Our Capstone team created an evaluation plan for an outcome evaluation of the fourth and fifth grade components of OCRCC's Safe Touch (ST) program and a process evaluation of the seventh grade component of OCRCC's Start Strong (SS) program. We developed and implemented two questionnaires for the ST outcome evaluation, one for fourth graders and one for fifth graders, and collected the data using a pre-test post-test evaluation design with a comparison group. To collect data for the Start Strong (SS) process evaluation, we developed and implemented the following tools: a Facilitator Knowledge and Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, a Facilitator Satisfaction Questionnaire, Facilitator Activity Logs, an Observation Checklist, and a Student Satisfaction Questionnaire. We also developed a Key Informant Interview Guide for OCRCC staff to implement in the future. Finally, the team created two reports with executive summaries and a stakeholder presentation for both evaluations. Results: For fourth grade, students who had the Safe Touch program had improved knowledge about respectful internet use and positive beliefs about reporting cyberbullying. For fifth grade, students who had the Safe Touch program had improved knowledge about sexual bullying and positive beliefs about being an active bystander. However, we were not able to conclude that the Safe Touch program improved students' self-efficacy and intention to engage in certain behaviors, such as reporting or intervening in a bullying situation. For the seventh grade Start Strong facilitator training, trainees were satisfied with the training content and instructor, except for a common desire for more time to practice the skills they were learning. Most trainees met the objectives for knowledge of course content and were sufficiently confident about their abilities to communicate course themes to students. However, trainees tended not to meet confidence objectives about their time management skills. For Start Strong program implementation, all program components were delivered in most classrooms, although not always during the intended program session. Students were satisfied with the program, reporting that they liked both the activities and the facilitators. Discussion: This project had several impacts for OCRCC, including increased capacity to sustain and expand process and outcome evaluations in the future, improved data about the strengths and needs of the programs for future funding requests, and insights for future program revision. The evaluation findings suggest that OCRCC adjust Safe Touch curricula to include more activities focused on building self-efficacy and behavioral intentions for prioritized behavioral outcomes, and that Start Strong facilitator training involve more time for trainees to practice implementing the skills they learn, especially time management. The project also provided the Capstone team with valuable skills, including engaging in research-practice collaboration, evaluation and questionnaire design, data management and analysis, and developing evaluation reports.