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Sexual assault is highly prevalent among the population of college students, which includes student-athletes. The context of athletics introduces unique risk factors related to alcohol consumption and aspects of sport culture, opportunities for prevention, and ethical considerations and consequences of disclosing and reporting sexual assault. Sport psychology practitioners are closely connected to athletes, and they can potentially serve an important and influential role in prevention and response to sexual assault. In this article, we review literature on sexual assault in college, highlight relevant aspects of the athletic context, summarize legislation and ethical considerations pertinent to sexual assault reporting, and provide practical recommendations for sport psychology practitioners so that they may contribute to preventative efforts and better serve student-athletes who are victims and survivors of sexual assault.
Shortway and Oganesova are with the Dept. of Advanced Studies in Psychology, Nathan Weiss Graduate College, Kean University, Hillside, NJ. Vincent is with Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center, SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, NY.