Sexual Assault

What to do if you have been a victim of sexual assault:

  1. Get to a safe place.
  2. Seek medical attention right away.
  3. Seek support from friends, family or counselors. Counseling services are available to all students and can be accessed on-campus in the Counseling Center (436-3368) and off-campus at the Violence Intervention Program (432-4855).
  4. Learn about your reporting options.

A brief description of sexual assault and statistics appear below.

Please visit (The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) for additional information.

Resources specifically developed for male victims can be found at

The resources at are also fantastic.

What Is Sexual Assault

Sexual violence is any form of unwanted, unwelcome, non-consensual* or coercive* sexual contact.

  • Sexual assault includes unwanted sexual contact, attempted intercourse (no penetration) or intercourse (rape).
  • Acquaintance rape occurs when someone you know forces, coerces, and/or manipulates you to participate in unwanted sexual activity. Rape is sex without consent. This could mean the use of or threatened use of force, violence or injury. Having sex with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs also constitutes rape. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other sexually degrading verbal or physical conduct.
  • The perpetrator can be a friend, someone who lives down the street, someone you met at a party, someone your friend knows, your intimate partner, your employer or someone you’ve known for a long time.
  • Sexual assault is a crime that happens regardless of one’s gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, economic status, religion, racial or ethnic background.
  • *Consent, willingly giving permission or agreement to a sexual act, without threat of harm. Consent is not given if you are incapable of consenting (i.e. unconscious, drunk, stoned, sleeping, etc.).
  • Coercive behavior doesn’t necessarily mean by physical force. Often times, coercion can take place in the form of a threat.

If you have been sexually assaulted, we encourage you to seek support to help you sort out your options. There are a number of services available to you. Service providers are trained to protect your confidentiality, to respect and support you.

Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

Researchers estimate that as many as 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Embarrassment and confusion often keep victims from reporting the crimes that they experienced. Victims of child abuse develop strong coping skills which often include minimizing the abuse (pretending that it’s not really that bad), rationalizing (blaming the abuse on alcohol, looking at the abuse as an expression of love), denial, forgetting, and in some cases, believing that they deserved the abuse.

It is important to know that you are not alone and not to blame for what happened. Healing from the crime of sexual abuse can begin at any time and you don’t have to do it alone. A counselor at the Student Counseling Center or at the Violence Intervention Program can help you find someone you feel comfortable working with.


  • Over 80% of rapes are committed by people the victim knows.
  • Some national statistics: One of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. One of every 25 college men have experienced unwanted sexual activity. (US Dept of Justice, 1998).
  • Approximately 66% of all rape victims know their assailant. (NCVS, 2000).
  • 13% of college women indicated they had been forced to have sex in a dating situation. (Johnson and Sigler, 2000).
  • 75% of the men & 55% of the women involved in acquaintance rapes were drinking or taking drugs just before the attack. (Warshaw, R. (1994).


Office of Health Education
Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center
(607) 436-3368

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