The aim of this study was to serve as a preliminary analysis to investigate the prevalence of sexual violence in the Belize defense and police force, the impact on victim’s lives, and the culture of military/police force. This mixed-methods study was conducted through a Qualtrics survey, and 34 participants were obtained. This survey contained a variety of dichotomous, multiple-response, and open-ended questions. This study found that 54.5% reported as a victim of sexual violence in the workplace. We also found that most victims did not report the crime, and many victims’ perceptions of their workplace has changed. A thematic content analysis revealed that the overall recommendation participants reported was to change the agency’s culture. In addition, this study found that when looking at descriptive statistics solely, as predicted, participants who are victims of sexual violence had more previous trauma experiences, trauma symptoms, and overall harassment compared to individuals who did not report as a victim. Victims also reported lower support from family and friends, unit support, and training and employment preparation compared to individuals who were reported as not a victim. This study reported evidence that there are sexual violence concerns within the police force in Belize that need to be addressed. This added awareness of issues can help inform agencies as to how to address these issues as well as adjust selection and training in a fashion to add roll clarity and help all officers feel safe within their community.


Daniel Houlihan

Committee Member

Angelica Aguirre

Committee Member

Paul Mackie

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Clinical Psychology




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Included in

Psychology Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright