Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name







Academic consequences, Formal supports, Informal supports, Sexual violence, University experiences, University students



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The prevalence of sexual violence is an ongoing public health concern within university communities. Students who experience sexual violence may be at risk for negative academic impacts including declines in grade point average (GPA), increased absenteeism, and withdrawal from school. Less information is known regarding if students who have experienced sexual violence report changes in their academic and university experiences, such as participation in class, social groups or clubs. Help-seeking through formal or informal sources may alleviate the negative consequences of sexual violence. Due to the unique environment of universities which may influence a student’s personal, social, and cultural life, a social ecological model was used to frame this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore student’s academic and university experiences after experiencing sexual violence. Students also shared their decisions and experiences disclosing to formal or informal resources. Data was analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Participants shared various ways sexual violence impacted their academics including decreased efficiently in studying, decline in GPA, and increased absenteeism. Participants did not report significant changes in their university experiences. Disclosing to informal and formal resources offered comfort, and validation for the participant. Addressing sexual violence with a public health approach may allow for implementation of interventions at each level of the ecological environment. Possible interventions may include revising policies, conducting community needs assessments and providing disclosure and bystander training to all students, staff, and faculty.

Included in

Nursing Commons