May 31, 2016
The decision-making involved in determining an appropriate course of action when encountering instances of sexual assault in the workplace can be stressful. Factors such as the gender or rank (e.g., superiors versus subordinates) of offenders may confound decision-making under stress and impact how victims and witnesses judge and report sexual assault incidents. Victims and witnesses may be anxious or worry about retribution or the effect on interpersonal relationships if they report an incident.
Frequently, sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) training focuses on knowledge content about how to identify and respond to sexual assault. Opportunities for application of training content are limited to in-classroom live role playing scenarios among instructors and trainees. While live role playing provides opportunities to demonstrate plausible scenarios and discuss appropriate response procedures, it can be difficult to authentically represent a stressful experience (e.g., anxiety, worry, etc.).
There is also a risk in live role playing exercises that trainees will simply respond as expected by instructors without thorough reflection of how they would actually feel and react if the incident was real. In other words, trainees may not feel immersed in the live role playing scenarios.
Virtual training in a 3D game-based environment with virtual human characters can provide an immersive experience for trainees to apply content knowledge. This presents an opportunity to develop compelling, high fidelity scenario content, including 3D character models and scenario scripts, which elicit an authentic level of stress during decision-making for SAPR training.
Design Interactive has been contracted through the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) to provide a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Curriculum. DI was creating compelling, realistic scenario scripts and high fidelity 3D virtual characters that will provide an authentic decision-making and stress experience during virtual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) training.
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