Sexual Assault is...
Any non-consensual sexual activity or unwanted behavior that one or more person(s) forces or manipulates upon another.
Common Reactions to Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Tips
Substance Abuse and Sexual Assault
Sexual assault includes rape, incest, and other unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault is a crime.
What To Do if You are the Survivor of a Rape
What To Do if a Friend is the Suvivor of a Rape
- Both men and women can be the survivor or perpetrator of sexual violence.
- If someone has forced you to engage in any sexual activity against your will, that is a sexual assault -- even if it is someone you know, like a classmate, instructor, boss, coworker, friend, relative, or boyfriend.
- Sexual assault can happen to anyone, and it is never the survivor's fault.
- The individual reaction to a sexual assault will depend on the survivor's methods for coping with personal crisis or stress. Survivors often feel that they have lost control over their lives. The key to recovery is regaining a sense of control.
How To Help
Many times survivors do not disclose their sexual assault to anyone. If a survivor confides in you, here is what you can do to help:
- Believe her/him.
- Reinforce that s/he is not to blame.
- Let the survivor make her/his own decisions about the situation.
- Do encourage medical attention.
- Don't hesitate to ask for outside help.
- Deal with your feelings, too. Sexual assault also impacts loved ones, and you need to heal as well. If you feel overwhelmed or need support, see contact information below.
"22% of all sexual assault victims are between the usual college ages of 18-24 years of age" (National Center for Victims of Crime, 1992).
"One out of every six college women are sexually assaulted while in college"
"From 80 to 95% of the sexual assaults that occur on college campuses are committed
by someone known to the victim"
(Abbey, Ross, McDuffie, & McAuslan, 1996).
"75% of male [college] students and 55% of female [college] students involved in an
acquaintance rape had been drinking [alcohol] or using drugs"
"73% of college women in one study whose experience met the legal definition of sexual
assault did not acknowledge the event as sexual assault"
(Laymen et al. 1996).
"57% of rapes occur on a date"
(Koss, Woodruff, Koss Study, 1990).
"One-half of college sexual assaults occur in the victim's residence and an additional
one-third take place in off-campus student housing"
(1995, U.S. Dept. of Justice).
*Information provided by the Greater New Haven Sexual Assault Crisis Services