Date of Completion


Embargo Period



sexual assault, Title IX, campus climate, LGBTQ

Major Advisor

Dr. Cristina Wilson

Associate Advisor

Dr. Michael Fendrich

Associate Advisor

Dr. Sarah McMahon

Field of Study

Social Work


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Sexual assault is a persistent problem on college colleges and has been found to impact the health, well-being, and academic success of survivors. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) college students experience sexual assault victimization at disproportionately higher rates compared to their cisgender, heterosexual peers. Federal Title IX legislation in the United States (U.S) requires higher education institutions to have systems in place to respond to reports of sexual assault and support the students affected. However, few students report sexual assault to college officials. This dissertation seeks to contribute to the understanding of campus sexual assault by exploring relationships between perceptions of the campus climate, sexual assault victimization and reporting to campus officials, specifically for LGBTQ students. Data was collected through a survey which was distributed via social media. Ultimately, 1,115 participants met the study criteria. Three empirical articles were developed from this data. The first article explores how different dimensions of the LGBTQ campus climate, race, gender, and sexual orientation impact the odds of experiencing sexual assault victimization in college. The second article investigates how various factors, including circumstances of the crime and campus climate, impact the odds of LGBTQ survivors reporting sexual assault to campus officials. And the third article deals with how the LGBTQ campus climate and reporting behavior contribute to the variance in LGBTQ survivors perceptions of the sexual assault reporting climate. Findings from these analyses are used to make recommendations for policy change at national and state levels and suggestions for how social workers can improve practice with LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault.