WGST minor Molly Hamilton was awarded a Mount Allison Independent Student Research Grant for summer 2017 for her project University Sexual Assault Policies: The Possibility of a Framework for All?
Molly’s project “set out to answer the following question: given that sexual assault has diverse effects across different groups and for individuals, is it possible to create a university sexual assault policy that is adaptable to all sexual assault survivors, while still providing an umbrella framework for investigating and addressing harm?”
Molly conducted interviews with campus professionals involved in issues related to sexual assault policy on campus, and analyzed the sexual assault policies and websites for 12 universities. Her research found that “university sexual assault coordinators and others that are devoted to this kind of work are trying their best to eliminate barriers for survivors/victims and ensure that there are services and support networks available for every single survivor/victim no matter their race, gender orientation, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age, and ability/disability. However, there are some practices or lack of practices – such as time limits, the inaccessibility of information, and the way policies are phrased, that arguably may prevent survivors/victims from feeling comfortable to come forward or even knowing where to go.”
Molly developed a list of recommendations for improving the accessibility of campus sexual assault policies and procedures. She was also involved in the production of a video project (with SHARE and MASU) called Mount A Community is Here for You – a message of support for survivors of sexual assault. Molly presented her research at the Student Undergraduate Research Fair on September 22.