Impact of a Self-Defense Training on College-Attending Women

Client: IMPACT Boston
Topic Area: Children, youth, and families
Service: Applied Research

IMPACT Boston has been working to prevent violence since 1987 through the delivery of a personal safety, assertiveness and self-defense training program called IMPACT, which has been implemented with a variety of populations. By delivering the program to high school seniors, IMPACT Boston aims to equip young women to protect themselves against sexual assault in college. ICH was hired to conduct an applied research project to understand the effect of participating in the IMPACT program on bystander behaviors, self-defense self-efficacy, and experiences of assault for women attending their first year of college. ICH designed an evaluation survey that is administered to participants after they complete the IMPACT program during their senior year of high school, and three more times during their first year of college. ICH is also administering the survey to a comparison group of young women who received an alcohol safety training during their senior year of high school. The study is currently underway, and IMPACT Boston expects to use the findings to add to the literature on the effect of empowerment-based self-defense curriculums on safety.