Kent State team researches sexual violence responses

Kira Meixner

A team of researchers, graduate students and faculty from the College of Nursing is conducting a study gauging men’s and women’s responses to sexual violence.

The study is based on narratives of people rather than technical measurements, said Claire Draucker, distinguished professor of nursing and principal investigator in the study. The research team interviewed more than 60 men and women, primarily from the Akron area, who have experienced sexual violence at some time in their lives.

“Several grad students have been involved on the research team,” Draucker said. “They have done some interviews along with other faculty.”

Draucker and her team have finished the majority of the interviews for the study. They will devote their last year of research to developing a nursing-assessment guide for nurses who provide health care to people who have experienced sexual violence.

“The purpose is to build a theoretical framework that explains and predicts how men and women respond to sexual violence,” Draucker said. “We want to provide information for nurses and caregivers, so they can understand how to provide better health care.”

Thomas Rusk, project coordinator of the study, is a graduate student working toward a master’s degree in biomedical science. He ensures the grant for the study runs according to schedule and stays on track with the team’s goals and budget.

“It’s nice to be in a grant-funded position because there is an ebb and flow to things,” Rusk said. “For me it works well because there’s enough flexibility in my role that I’m able to pursue a graduate degree.”

Rusk said this research project is helpful to the College of Nursing and to graduate students. One student completed his doctoral dissertation from the grant for the project by conducting some of the interviews, and another worked with the collected data to analyze the implications of the study.

The four-year grant that funds the study was awarded to the College of Nursing by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institutes of Health.

Contact health and medical reporter Kira Meixner at [email protected].