An Evaluation of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for Adolescent Girls (SARE-A)

  • End date
    Sep 30, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Windsor
Updated on 3 April 2023
Accepts healthy volunteers


Sexual violence (SV) perpetrated by dating partners and male acquaintances is common among adolescent girls in high school. Girls and young women who experience SV are likely to encounter negative mental and physical health consequences as well as lowered academic performance. While educational interventions to address the problem of SV are numerous, when evaluated, few show any capacity to reduce sexual violence victimization or perpetration. The Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) sexual assault resistance program for female university students (ages 17-24) is a rare exception; in a rigorous trial, EAAA reduced attempted and completed rape by 50% in the following year. The current randomized controlled trial (RCT) will test whether a version of EAAA that has been adapted for younger girls (age 14-18) who have not graduated high school (called the Adolescent Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act [A-EAAA]) will result in similar benefits within a 6-month follow-up. The current RCT will be conducted across three sites in Ontario, Canada.


Sexual violence (SV), which occurs along a continuum from unwanted sexual contact to rape, is common among adolescent girls and young women: research suggests 1 in 7 teen girls experiences SV. Perpetrators of SV are overwhelmingly male; however, the programs that exist to address boys'/men's perpetration are not sufficiently effective nor are they widely available. Other approaches to sexual assault prevention for adolescents, such as bystander programs, have not been shown to reduce sexual violence victimization or perpetration. Given the numerous negative consequences associated with SV, developing effective SV prevention and resistance programs targeting teens is critical for reducing victimization and improving health outcomes for adolescent girls. The Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) sexual assault resistance program has been shown to substantially reduce rates of SV (50% for rape and attempted rape) in young women attending university (ages 17-24), but since it was designed for university students in a different developmental stage, an evidence-based adaptation was necessary. The purpose of the current study is to test the efficacy of the newly adapted Adolescent Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (A-EAAA) program in reducing sexual violence victimization among adolescent girls within 6-months of trial entry. We will continue to follow participants for one-year to evaluate whether changes in tertiary outcomes (e.g., mediators) are maintained to 12-months. A-EAAA is a 12-hour psychoeducational intervention that provides information, skills, and practice aimed at a) decreasing the time needed for girls to assess sexually coercive situations as dangerous and to take action, b) reducing emotional obstacles to taking action, c) increasing the use of the most effective methods of verbal and physical self-defense, and d) identifying sexual and relationship values and boundaries and reinforcing the right to defend them.

Condition Sexual Assault
Treatment A-EAAA Sexual Assault Resistance Education Program immediately, Usual care + A-EAAA at 6 months
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05738837
SponsorUniversity of Windsor
Last Modified on3 April 2023


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Self-identified girls aged 14 to 18 years
have not graduated high school
competence in spoken and written English
provide informed consent
able to attend one of the scheduled programs in the data collection period in which they are enrolled

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