Double Jeopardy: Asian Students’ Experiences of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment and Xenophobia during COVID-19

Sexual violence on campus is a pervasive problem that disproportionately impacts race/ethnic minority students both in terms of prevalence and adverse outcomes. The rapid increase of reported hate-crimes against the Asian population will likely impact the experience of sexual violence, mental health, and help-seeking behaviors of Asian students. However, the limited data regarding this social problem failed to support advocacy and develop appropriate services for the Asian students who have experienced sexual violence1. To address this gap, our mixed-method project aims to create a collective voice of Asian students who have experienced sexual violence, and advocate for services for Asian college students. Our innovative research topic is largely understudied in the body of academic literature. This novel project is the first-ever effort to our knowledge that combines rigorous public health research methodologies with transmedia campaign to advocate for Asian students who have experienced sexual violence.

The specific objectives of this mixed-method study are:

Objective 1. To explore types of sexual violence and sexual harassment that Asian students have experienced.

Objective 2. To measure types of racial and ethnic microaggression Asian students have experienced.

Objective 3. To examine how COVID-19 impacted the negative experiences (i.e., sexual violence and sexual harassment and racial and ethnic microaggression) and physical and mental health among Asian students.

Objective 4. To explore the help seeking behaviors and community support Asian students utilize after sexual violence and sexual harassment incidents.

Objective 5. To develop transmedia materials to raise awareness about culturally specific advocacy for Asian student community

This two-phased project will collect data through 1) quantitative survey 2) qualitative semi-structured in-depth interviews, to explore the experience and context of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (SVSH) and anti-Asian racism, discrimination and xenophobia Asian students across California have been exposed to during/after the COVID-19. Our research methods are informed by intersectional, community-engaged frameworks (McCauley, Campbell, Buchanan, & Moylan, 2019) guided by trauma-informed practices (Campbell, Goodman-Williams, & Javorka, 2019) and survivor-centered principles (Ghanbarpour et al., 2018).

The proposed project will raise awareness on sexual violence and sexual harassment (SVSH) across the University of California. Findings generated from our research will be used to inform culturally appropriate, campus-based services for the Asian college students and young adults in California.

IRB Number: UCLA IRB#: 21-000149 (International Students) (flyer is attached)

IRB Number: UCLA IRB#: 20-000445 (Asian American Students)

Jianchao Lai, Ph.D. Candidate in Social Welfare, Co-Principal Investigator. Email:

Eunhee Park, MPH, Ph.D. Student in Public Health, Co-Principal Investigator, Email:

Nox Yang, Undergraduate Student Researcher and Multimedia Art Director, Department of Sociology,

Sean Sugai, Undergraduate Student Researcher, Institute for Society and Genetics, Department of Anthropology, Fielding School of Public Health,

UCLA Asian American Studies Center

UCLA Research and Creative Activities Office

The Center for Institutional Courage