Research study informs new program to prevent sexual assault at large gatherings

September 9, 2015

For Dr. Kari Sampsel, treating sexual assault victims in The Ottawa Hospital’s emergency department was not enough. She also wanted to help prevent sexual assault, and to do that, she needed to understand the risk factors. So Dr. Sampsel and her colleagues collected data on more than 200 sexual assault victims treated at The Ottawa Hospital and found that more than a quarter of the assaults happened at large gatherings like festivals and holiday parties. The results, published in Emergency Medicine Journal, also show that the women assaulted at these large gatherings were often young, intoxicated and unfamiliar with their attacker. Dr. Sampsel used the study results and other information to help develop Project Soundcheck, a program that seeks to empower staff and volunteers at festivals to create a safer space for women.

Co-authors: Justin Godbout, Tara Leach, Monica Taljaard, Lisa Calder.
Commanditaires: Women's College Hospital, Crime Prevention Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

For further information, please contact

Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations,
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73325