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Preventing Sexual Violence In NCAA Sports and Student-Athletes

While all NCAA universities and colleges have unique aspects, all athletic programs are working towards the prevention of sexual violence on college campuses.

Leaders of Evolution is another organization working towards the common goal of eliminating this issue. We have summarized the NCAA policies on these actions and aim to help in the training methods to prevent them.

NCAA Sexual Violence Prevention | Training to Prevent Sexual Violence

NCAA Sexual Violence Prevention

Despite efforts to eliminate sexual violence, the issue can still be seen in all forms within society including the workplace, the home, and academic institutions. Most recently, many cases of sexual assault taking place in colleges and involving student-athletes have been surfaced through news outlets. One story that has been made public in the media is the Brock Turner sexual assault case. In 2015, Brock Turner, a former student-athlete at Stanford, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman and was sentenced to 6 months in prison. 

Compliance

But Brock Turner’s story is only one of the many that involve student-athletes. More and more intercollegiate programs are creating policies that outline the consequences for predators of these acts. The NCAA, along with its Board of Governors has also joined the fight against these crimes and providing punishments for offenders. 

NCAA Prevention Policies and Handbook

In 2014, the NCAA created the “Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence: Athletics’ Role in Support of Healthy and Safe Campuses” handbook. This handbook, which is broken down into nine parts, outlines information about compliance, the student-athlete perspective, collaboration, and educational programming in athletics.

Introduction

Before the handbook goes into depth about the NCAA’s policies, the introduction gives basic information that allows readers to fully understand what crimes fall under the umbrella of sexual assault and what are some risk factors that lead to these types of behaviors. Many statistics regarding crime rates and reporting rates of these acts are listed in the introduction section. For example, a study in the handbook reported that around “20 percent of NCAA student-athletes were victims of hazing”.

Compliance

After explaining the importance of identifying this issue within athletic programs, the handbook then lists general guidelines that universities must follow and the federal laws that regulate these guidelines. These compliances and guidelines are different based on the nature and timing of the behavior. There are different concerns for sexual violence acts that are involved in the recruiting process and those that are pending federal cases. 

Student-Athlete Perspective

In this section, the NCAA summarizes the importance of student-athletes roles in sexual assault prevention. There are many actions that student-athletes can take to lessen the chance of these acts happening on their campus or on in their athletic department. Making student-athletes aware of this serious issue is the first step to eliminate the problem from a campus community.

Collaboration

Eliminating sexual violence from campuses is a large task that takes the help of every individual involved. Collaboration between the students, the staff, and the coaches can make removing these acts easier and more effective. There needs to be teamwork in all aspects including the prevention of sexual violence, the response to these acts, and the recovery for the victims and the community.

Educational Programming in Athletics

The first step in preventing these behaviors includes educating all parties that are affected by these actions. The most important target audience for prevention should be student-athletes, coaches, and athletic administrators. These target audiences can be reached through presentations, educational workshops, and training. 

NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct

NCAA Sexual Violence Prevention | Training to Prevent Sexual Violence

The handbook was largely created and led by the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct. In the past, this committee has also held events and led seminars that educate academic institutions on the importance of sexual violence prevention. In 2011, the committee sponsored a Summit on Violence and in 2014, led a panel discussion about the issue at the NCAA National Convention. 

NCAA Board of Governors

In May of this year, the NCAA Board of Governors expanded its policy on sexual violence. As the NCAA’s top governing body, the board updated its policy on disclosure of investigations and penalties of breaking these rules. These changes will go into effect for the 2021-22 academic year and can include the loss of athletic eligibility if not followed. 

Training to Prevent Sexual Violence

As previously mentioned, training for all target audiences is very important to eliminate the problem on college campuses. While there are many seminars and training videos, the NCAA Office of Inclusion and the Sport Science Institute has partnered to updated the Sexual Violence Prevention Tool Kit. This second edition was adapted in 2019 to the changing culture of intercollegiate programs. This 36-page tool kit has information for all target audiences to aid in the prevention of these acts on college campuses. 

This tool kit outlines the five core commitments essential for a sexual violence-free campus: leadership, collaboration, compliance and accountability, education, and student-athlete engagement. Each core commitment is followed by a checklist to ensure the goal is met. These checkpoints target different audiences with different messages. Throughout, there are links to NCAA websites with more tools that can enhance the training procedure. By following the procedures and guidelines of these core commitments, athletic programs within the NCAA can build a better future where sexual violence is no longer prevalent on campus. 

Leaders of Evolution

As Leaders of Evolution is an organization dedicated to the success and wellbeing of all student-athletes, we stand by the NCAA to help prevent acts of sexual violence in intercollegiate programs.

To educate yourself on the importance of preventing sexual violence or to learn more about Leaders of Evolution’s role in sports leadership, check out our e-learning hub partnerships with universities.

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Rachel Richards

Interested in sports communication and digital media. Rachel loves to travel with her family, and go to concerts and music festivals with her friends. She is always interested in discovering local coffee shops and drinks tea with every meal.

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