The results of a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in May 2015 had some startling results.
In the study, researchers found that nearly one in five women said they were victims of rape, either attempted or completed, during their freshman year. Though the study was only conducted at one unnamed university in upstate New York, it shows that colleges and universities need to be proactive — instead of reactive — in the fight against sexual assault.
And despite some serious mishandling of rape cases both in the U.S. and around the world, more schools are trying to help. Case in point: The University of Bristol in the U.K. is requiring students to take a sexual consent quiz as a part of their induction to school.
The school partnered with Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support to develop the quiz that presents students with a variety of scenarios. With each scenario comes the choice of whether to play or stop. A positive message will pop up if they pick the right answer, while a wrong answer will explain why the choice is incorrect.
“The issue of sexual consent, as highlighted by Universities minister Jo Johnson and business secretary Sajid Javid last week, is something the University takes seriously,” a rep for the University of Bristol told BuzzFeed News.
“As part of our proactive approach, all new residents have information about sexual consent in their e-induction. This includes a quiz to test their knowledge. The quiz was written by a local charity who are experts in this area.”
Earlier this summer, some universities began distributing “Consent Conscious Kits” equipped with mints, a condom and a signature-based contract that confirms both parties agreed to have sex. The likelihood that these contracts would hold up in court if there is a sexual assault allegation is dubious at best and plenty of people snarked that it would take the fun out of getting frisky.
That’s not the point.
The real point is to get students thinking about consent and what implications their actions could have on themselves and their potential partners. And if these tactics can prevent even one rape, then they’re absolutely worth it.