Sexual Violence Awareness

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What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact without consent, often through the use or threat of force or through intentionally rendering the victim incapable of consent though the use of alcohol or drugs.

Sexual assault can be perpetrated by a stranger, but it is more commonly committed by someone the victim knows, such as a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend/partner or acquaintance. Because assault usually occurs with someone the victim knows and while one or both parties are under the influence of alcohol, victims often blame themselves and do not identify it as sexual assault. Often the victim will not tell anyone about it. If they do tell someone, 80 percent of the time they will seek support from a peer before they will seek help from a professional.

Statistics on college campuses

Krebs CP, Linquist CH, Warner TD, Fisher BS, Martin SL (2009). College women’s experiences with physically forced, alcohol- or other drug-enabled, and drug-facilitated sexual assault before and since entering college. Journal of American College Health; 57(6):639-647.

Black MC, Basile KC, Breiding MJ, Smith SG, Walters ML, Merrick MT, Chen J, Stevens MR (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fisher, B., F. Cullen and M. Turner (2000). The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Abbey, A. (2002). "Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault: A Common Problem among College Students." Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Supplement No. 14: 118-128.

Rennison & Welchans. (2000). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence.

Krebs, Lindquist, Warner, Fisher & Martin. (2007). The Campus Sexual Assault Study (CSA): Final Report.

Baum, Catalano & Rand. (2009). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Stalking Victimization in the United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report.


Get Support: Contact Resources

If you or someone you know have been a victim of sexual misconduct, information about available resources can be found HERE.