Research and Evaluation

Research and evaluation are an integral part of the work accomplished at VPVA. The department utilizes both informal and formal methods for gathering information about the services we provide and the constituencies we serve. This information is ultimately used to improve our services and strengthen our mission of creating communities free of violence. Below is a sampling of research studies conducted by the department.


Utilizing Peer Education Theater for the Primary Purpose of Sexual Violence on College Campuses by McMahon, S., Postmus J.L., Warrener, C., Koenick, R.A. (2014). This article presents findings of an exploratory study that evaluates the impact of SCREAM Theater on students’ rape myths and bystander attitudes.  Key variables such as gender, ethnicity, athlete status and fraternity/sorority status were examined. The article concludes with implications for student affairs professionals and educators.

Conceptualizing the Engaging Bystander Approach to Sexual Violence Prevention on College Campuses by McMahon, S., Postmus, J.L., Koenick, R.A. (2011). This article discusses how the ‘Engaging Bystanders Approach’ can be used to address primary prevention. The results from a quantitative study of 951 undergraduate students that assessed the willingness of incoming college students to engage in primary prevention bystander behaviors are presented. The article concludes with implications for future studies and for sexual violence prevention programs on college campuses.

Sexual Violence Prevention on Campus: Leading the Culture Change by Koenick, R.A. (2014). Higher education institutions must lead the national charge to prevent the occurrence of sexual violence and to change the culture on campuses nationwide to one of respect and human dignity for all students. This article offers strategies for institutions as they create “to-do” lists to promote culture change.