Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Community Health Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Co-chair

Gene Burns, Annie Sondag

Commitee Members

Jeffrey Renz


American rape culture, rape, rape myths, sexual assault, socialization of rape, women's self-defense


University of Montana


According to the National Organization for Women (NOW), 232,960 American women were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006, equating to more than 600 women daily (2012). American women furthermore experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes each year (NOW, 2012). Violence toward women is also evident on American college and university campuses. The U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ), for example, states that 35 of every 1,000 female students are victims of rape—either completed or attempted—in a given nine-month academic year (National Institute of Justice, 2005). With more than 600 women being raped daily, the pervasiveness of partner-related offenses, and the frequency of sexual violence occurring on American college campuses, the time is past due for American society to seriously confront, at all levels of discourse and implementation, the emotional, social, and spiritual devastation of sexual assault. This project aims to address American sexual assault and offers a potential solution. It is an extensive literature review regarding the prevalence of sexual assault, its different types, and its influential cultural factors in the United States. In addition, this review explores available preventative strategies and investigates, specifically, the current status of women’s self-defense programs en route to promoting women’s self-defense as a viable approach to minimizing America’s sexual assault culture.



© Copyright 2013 Jennifer Ann Just