Sexual Assault Resistance Education Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can become an EAAA Trainer?
  • Women of any age or background can attend the EAAA Train the Trainer Workshop. However, because the EAAA program was designed for university/college women, we expect that workshop attendees will largely be staff from post-secondary institutions or community sexual assault centres and non-profit empowerment self-defence organizations.
Q: Who can become an EAAA Facilitator?
  • For the EAAA program to be effective, it must be delivered by two highly trained female facilitators. Because these Facilitators must be seen as expert peers by the program participants, EAAA Facilitators must be women who are reasonably close in age to potential participants (preferably under the age of 30). Organizations/institutions are responsible for hiring and training their own facilitators.
Q: How can I get training as an EAAA Facilitator?
  • In order to become an EAAA Facilitator, you must be trained and supervised by a qualified Campus/Community Trainer in your local community who has completed the EAAA Train the Trainer workshop. You must also complete a 2-day course in women's (empowerment/feminist) self-defence (e.g., WenDo) as part of your training.
Q: Can you tell me how much it will cost to implement the EAAA program at our university??
  • SARE Centre only provides training. Costs of implementing the EAAA program at your University will vary depending on staff salaries, resource costs and various implementation decisions. Blueprints For Youth Development has worked with us to provide an example of first year implementation costs.
Q: Do you offer training in becoming an EAAA Facilitator?
  • At this time, we do not offer training to women wishing to become EAAA Facilitators. If you are interested in becoming an EAAA Facilitator, please contact the SARE Centre. We can let you know if there is a university, college, or community organization near you who has a qualified EAAA Trainer on staff.
Q: We are not sure if the EAAA program is right for our University/college. Can you send two EAAA Facilitators to our campus/community to deliver the EAAA program on a trial basis?
  • Currently we do not have EAAA Facilitators on our staff, so we are not able to provide this service at this time. However, we may offer this service in the future. If you are interested in having EAAA Facilitators come to your campus on a one-time basis, please contact us to let us know.
Q: Our university/college already offers sexual assault prevention programming (e.g., discussions of consent, Bringing in the Bystander™, Green Dot). Why would we need the EAAA program?
  • Most sexual assault prevention programs offered on university and college campuses are not evidence-based and have never been evaluated in rigorous studies. There are exceptions. The best bystander programs are effective in changing bystander attitudes, intentions, and behaviours, but do not reduce sexual assault perpetration or victimization for those who take them or in the short term, in the wider campus community. We all hope that changes in the rates of sexual assault will happen when bystander programs are widely available and sustained for many years, but these changes will take time. Moreover, most situations of acquaintance sexual assault occur when no bystanders are present. And there are no effective campus programs to reduce men's perpetration available. Therefore, providing resistance education for women students is a critical piece of a comprehensive campus strategy to reduce sexual violence.
Q: Our university/college already offers traditional self-defense (e.g., RAD). Why would we need the EAAA program?
  • Most campus self-defence programs focus entirely or mostly on stranger situations and do not prepare women for resisting acquaintances. They have not been effective at reducing the sexual violence women experience. Empowerment/feminist self-defence may be an exception (one 30-hr program developed by Jocelyn Hollander at the University of Oregon has been shown to be effective). The EAAA program is not simply self-defence.
Q: How is your program different from previous self-defence and assertiveness training efforts that you say are ineffective?
  • Women experience both physical and emotional barriers to fighting back against men they know. The power of our program is that it supplements 2 hours of self-defence training with 10 hours of education to help women overcome the barriers to defending themselves, both verbally and physically. Most police/security taught self-defence courses focus on stranger situations, the least likely situations of sexual assault. Counseling a woman to stick keys or fingers in a man's eyes rarely helps her against perpetrators such as her girlfriend's boyfriend, since most women won't do that. The self-defence component of our program is strongly influenced by Wen-Do, a women's self-defence program developed in Canada with a 40-year track record. Another empowerment self-defence program offered as an academic course (30-hrs; developed by Jocelyn Hollander at the University of Oregon) was found to be effective in reducing the sexual violence women experienced in a quasi-experimental study. Unfortunately this latter type of self-defence class is not commonly offered on North American campuses.
Q: I am a University/college student, how do I get my institution to offer the EAAA program?
  • Contact the President of your University, the Board of Governors, the VP Academic/Provost, Dean of Students, and/or the Director of Student Affairs and tell them that you want the EAAA program offered on your campus because it is the only evidence-based intervention with clinically proven efficacy in reducing the sexual violence women experience. Provide your Women's/Gender Equality Centre, and Health or Counselling Centre with the links to the research. Contact us if your university would like more information directly from us. Until such time as broad scale social change happens and early intervention to stop perpetration is wide spread, the EAAA program offers campuses a way to decrease the harm experienced by young women now.
Q: I am a parent of University/college student (or a young woman about to enroll in University/college). How do I get the University/college my daughter is attending or planning to attend to offer the EAAA program?
  • Contact the President of the postsecondary institution your daughter is attending or planning to attend, the Board of Governors, the VP Academic/Provost, Dean of Students, and/or the Director of Student Affairs and tell them you want the EAAA program offered on your campus because it is the only evidence-based intervention with clinically proven efficacy in reducing the sexual violence women experience. Provide them with the links to the research. Contact us if the university would like more information directly from us. Until such time as broad scale social change happens and early intervention to stop perpetration is wide spread, the EAAA program offers campuses a way to decrease the harm experienced by young women now.
Q: Why aren't you trying to change men's behaviors? Are you suggesting it is the responsibility of women to reduce sexual violence when most perpetrators are men?
  • Many researchers have focused on men's behaviour, but only a few junior high school programs have achieved positive results. Currently, the most promising route to changing men's behaviour is through bystander education to create a less tolerant environment for perpetration and interrupt situations that show signs of becoming dangerous. Unfortunately, this type of change will take time, possibly years AND most acquaintance sexual assaults happen in situations where there are no bystanders present. The EAAA program focuses on giving women the tools they need to resist men who try to force them to engage in sexual activity they don't want. Further, it accomplishes this while holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. The EAAA program reduces young women's belief in rape myths including woman-blaming explanations for rape.
Q: What about male victims and/or GLBT victims of same-sex sexual violence; why doesn't the EAAA program address their needs, too?
  • We want to end sexual violence against all victims. Some victims of sexual violence are male-as are the vast majority of perpetrators. Transgender individuals also experience a high level of sexual violence, again committed primarily by men. Prevention research shows that if we try to make one program do everything for everyone, it ends up doing very little for anyone. The EAAA program is specifically designed for young women in university/college and the examples and exercises used in the program are ones relevant to their lives. The program is designed to be inclusive of heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, asexual, and trans-women while focusing on sexual assault by men. We are open to collaborations with others who are interested in adapting the program for other communities/ audiences.
Q: Only a minority of women attend university/college; don't other women need/deserve this program?
  • All women could benefit from a similar type of program. With some minor changes, the EAAA program would likely be just as effective for other women in the same age group. Approximately 50% of the rapes experienced by women occur before they turn 18, so adapting the program for girls in high school is a priority for us. We have piloted such a program. We are involved in a collaboration to adapt the program for women of other ages (graduate students) and are considering adaptations for women in the workforce (i.e., male-dominated workplaces) as well.