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Promising Program Seal

EAAA (Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act) Sexual Assault Resistance Education

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

A four-unit program to help first-year college women resist acquaintance sexual assault by providing them with information and resistance training.

Program Outcomes

  • Sexual Violence
  • Violent Victimization

Program Type

  • Skills Training

Program Setting

  • School

Continuum of Intervention

  • Universal Prevention (Entire Population)


  • Early Adulthood (19-22)


  • Female only


  • All Race/Ethnicity


  • Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Karen Hobden
SARE Centre
University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4

Program Developer/Owner

  • Charlene Y. Senn
  • University of Windsor

Brief Description of the Program

The sexual assault resistance program is designed to help first-year university women resist acquaintance sexual assault. The program consists of four 3-hour units that involve information-providing games, mini-lectures, facilitated discussion, and application and practice activities. Participants can attend group sessions for all the units in one weekend (two units each day) or for one unit per week for 4 weeks.

See: Full Description


Relative to the control group, the intervention group showed significantly lower risk of:

  • completed rapes (up to 12 months)
  • attempted rapes (up to 24 months)
  • attempted coercion (up to 24 months)
  • non-consensual sexual contact (up to 24 months)

Regarding secondary outcomes, participants in the intervention group showed significantly improved:

  • self-assessed risk of acquaintance rape (24 months)
  • risk assessment skills (24 months)
  • self-defense self-efficacy (24 months)
  • acceptance of rape myths (24 months)
  • acceptance of women-blaming beliefs (24 months)
  • various rape resistance strategies (24 months)

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

The program focuses on women only. The evaluated sample was nearly three-quarters white. Based on subgroup analyses run specifically for Blueprints, there is no statistical evidence to conclude that the program is not effective in any specific racial and ethnic category and in any specific sexual identity category.

Risk and Protective Factors

Risk Factors
  • Individual: Substance use
  • Peer: Romantic partner violence
Protective Factors
  • Individual: Problem solving skills, Prosocial behavior, Refusal skills

Training and Technical Assistance

A train the trainer model is employed in the dissemination of the EAAA program. EAAA Facilitators are trained by Campus Trainers who have attended the EAAA Train the Trainer workshop.

Training of Campus Trainers

6 full days in-person training delivered by EAAA Lead Trainer. This training includes an in-depth exploration of the theory and research behind the design and content of EAAA; key elements of EAAA facilitator supervision and common issues that arise in each of the four sessions; interactive practice supervising EAAA facilitator dry runs; brainstorming and practice dealing with participant issues such as woman blaming, gender norms, etc.; advice on hiring, training and supervision; discussion of practical issues related to administering and implementing the EAAA program in your campus community; one full day of specialized Wen-Do self-defense instruction for EAAA Trainers, etc.

Training of Facilitators

Note: As few as two Program Facilitators and as many as 18-20 could be trained together using the training model and methodology presented in the Campus/Community Trainer Manual.

A consecutive 8 full days of Facilitator Training followed by a 5-6-hour dress rehearsal of ACT at least 2 weeks before the first EAAA group begins is recommended. We suggest holding the training in late August or early September before classes begin and after students’ summer jobs wrap. The intensity of the training helps with team cohesion and promotes focused and deep reflection on the content of the EAAA. If this cannot be achieved, a few different models are possible and are suggested in the Campus Trainer Manual.

Overview of Facilitator Training

The eight-day curriculum includes:

  • An overview of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of educational interventions, in general, and the EAAA program, in particular
  • Tips for dealing with the challenges of facilitating educational interventions, including problems specific to sexual assault interventions
  • Legal issues surrounding sexual assault
  • Practice with and feedback from delivering facilitating components of the EAAA program with mock participants (i.e., full dress rehearsals using slides and program equipment)
  • A 15-hour Basic Wen-Do Course delivered by a certified Wen-Do Instructor and one day of individualized instruction for teaching specific techniques

Brief Evaluation Methodology

The study recruited female students from three Canadian colleges and randomized 916 subjects to an intervention or control group. Subjects completed surveys at baseline, 1-week after program completion, 6 months after baseline, and 12 months after baseline in which they reported on completed rape, attempted rape, coercion, and non-consensual sexual contact. The analysis also examined the occurrence of each type of sexual event over a 24-month follow-up period. Secondary outcomes included self-assessed risk of acquaintance rape, risk assessment, belief in rape myths, self-defense self-efficacy, and women-blaming beliefs.


Senn, C. Y., Eliasziw, M., Barata, P. C., Thurston, W. E., Newby-Clark, I. R., Radtke, H. L., & Hobden, K. L. (2013). Sexual assault resistance education for university women: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (SARE trial). BMC Women's Health, 13, 25. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6874-13-25.

Senn, C. Y., Eliasziw, M., Barata, P. C., Thurston, W. E., Newby-Clark, I. R., Radtke, H. L., & Hobden, K. L. (2015). Efficacy of a sexual assault resistance program for university women. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(24), 2326-35.

Senn, C. Y., Eliasziw, M., Barata, P. C., Thurston, W. E., Newby-Clark, I., Radtke, L., ... SARE team. (2014). Sexual violence in the lives of first-year university women in Canada: No improvements in the 21st century. BMC Women’s Health, 14, 135, 1-8. doi:10.1186/s12905-014-0135-4.