Rape and Sexual Assault

Crimes of a sexual nature may be reported to campus or local law enforcement in addition to being reported administratively on campus. Both men and women can be victims of rape or sexual assault. For purposes of this notice, Rape and Sexual Assault are defined below:

  • Rape is non-consensual intercourse that involves the threat of force, violence, immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress.
  • Sexual assault is broader in definition than rape. Any non-consensual sexual act may be considered sexual assault. Examples of sexual assault include unwanted oral, anal or vaginal intercourse, penetration of the anus or vagina with a foreign object, or unwanted touching on an intimate area of a person’s body. Sexual assault can include unwanted kissing or bodily contact that is sexual in nature.

In order for a sexual act to be considered rape or sexual assault, the act must be non-consensual. What is consent?

  • Consent for sexual contact means that an individual is a willing participant in the sexual act. Individuals are unable to give consent if incapacitated by the influence of drugs or alcohol or they suffer from a physical or mental disorder that makes them incapable of giving consent. Likewise, a minor is unable to give legal consent for sexual intercourse.

 

Sexual Violence- Risk Reduction Tips

“What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being a victim of sexual violence?”

Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:

  • If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
  • Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  • Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  • Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
  • Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1

 

 

 “What can I do in order to ensure I do not become a perpetrator of sexual violence?”

The only individual who is ultimately able to prevent sexual violence or ensure that rape and sexual assault do not occur is the potential perpetrator.  As such, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help ensure that you do not engage in sexual misconduct:

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  • Understand and respect personal boundaries - even if your partner changes their mind.
  • DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent, about someone’s sexual availability, about whether they are attracted to you, about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
  • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  • Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state. Incapacitation means a person is unable to give valid consent. People who are asleep or unconscious are also, by definition, unable to give affirmative consent.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior. Similarly, consent to sexual activity in the past does not confer consent in the future.
  • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language. If you have an doubt, do not assume you have consent.