Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. Each year, there are about 293,00 victims of sexual assault. What can we do to prevent or limit the amount of cases of sexual assault on our campus? The first is to know WHAT sexual assault consists of. WHO and what resources we can contact in the case of a sexual assault event occurring. Also, who to contact for a sexual assault aftermath, to help recover. HOW we can reduce the risks and raise awareness on our campus and nationwide.
There are different types of sexual assaults. The most commonly known is penetration of the body or rape. It does not end there. Attempted rape is considered sexual assault. Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, fondling, or unwanted sexual touching are all actions classified as sexual assault. The action of forcing ones self onto another without consent, both parties agreeing or permitting sexual contact, is unacceptable and should be reported. Sexual assault is a crime. College-aged women are 3 times more likely than women in general to suffer from sexual violence.
Regardless of age, gender, or background, sexual assault can happen to anyone! 68% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. This results in 98% of rapists that will never spend a day in jail or prison. 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance to the victim. Approximately, 4 out of 5 assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. The most important thing to remember in an event of sexual assault is that it is never the victim’s fault. There maybe some feelings of shame, guilt, or blame upon the victim, but remember that sexual assault is not OK. No one will judge you for being a victim. People are here, specifically, to help you. Reporting to law enforcement is entirely the victim’s decision. Should you wish to report to CSUSM University Police, you can call 760-750-4567 or 911 on campus phones. To report to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students, call the Dean of Students at 760-750-4935. Or visit www.csusm.edu/title9 for information regarding your Title IX rights.
For more information on reporting to law enforcement you can visit RAINN.org. There are also resources to reach out to that are not law enforcement. The National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) is available 24/7. Here on campus, you can contact the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) Sexual Violence Advocate and Educator confidential counseling for appointments at 760-750-4915.
For the safety of our fellow peers, it is up to US to be aware of the signs and signals of a sexual assault in progress and stand up for the victims. You can visit RAINN.org Ways to Reduce your Risk of Sexual Assault for more information. Here on campus, we have a full week devoted to the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) campaign.
Throughout the week, our coffee cups will be accompanied with sleeves that promotes the RAINN campaign with the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Take a SELFIE with your coffee sleeve, post it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and #TalkToRAINN and you could be featured on their campaign!! Tag @RAINN01. Also, #csusmHOPE or @csusmHOPE to bring awareness to our own campus. RAINN Day is Thursday September 17, 2015. From 11am-1pm in the USU Arcade, the SHCS H.O.P.E and Wellness Center will be educating our peers about risk reduction and recovery resources for sexual assault survivors. Join us and sign a pledge to be an active bystander through www.itsonus.org.
- Information and statistics from http://www.rainn.org
Article written by CSUSM HOPE Peer Educator Kara Barkdoll