Tip 21: Sexual Assault
This guy and I were drinking in his room one night. And, as I am sure you can guess we started messing around. I didn’t want to go all the way but he kept pushing me to have sex. He wouldn’t stop even though I pushed him away and told him to stop. It was horrible, scary and so painful in so many ways. I know you must hear this story all the time but even though I told him to stop he forced me to. I am afraid to tell anyone. I see him around campus and he acts like nothing happened. How can he act that way? What should I do?
In the majority of campus sexual assaults, one or both of the people involved is under the influence of alcohol at the time of the assault, the people usually know each other and it is usually a male on female attack. If you are a victim of sexual assault, talking about what happened to you with people who are supportive and understanding can be very helpful. You may want to talk with friends, family members, a trusted teacher or an advisor. They will probably urge you to seek professional support – and rightly so. It can be especially helpful to talk to a trained counselor or advocate who is knowledgeable about the trauma of sexual assault and knows how to assist victims. Often victims who have been drinking and/or using drugs have intense feelings of self-blame and others may assign blame to them as well. Remember, a victim is NEVER responsible for a sexual assault. The responsibility for rape rests completely with the assailant.
On college campuses, there are many places to get help. Most colleges offer assistance for victims through the Student Counseling and/or Health Center, Women's Center, Student Affairs Office, Campus Security, and other departments. They can help with medical, psychological and legal issues. On most campuses, you can utilize the services of a sexual assault advocate regardless of whether or not you decide to make a police report or officially notify campus personnel. Only a minority of sexual assault victims reports the crime to the police. That is understandable since reporting can be an invasive and difficult process. But, the only way to ensure more rapists are in prison and off the street is to report the crime to the police.
The definitions of rape and sexual assault include having sex with someone who is unable to consent because he or she is intoxicated, drugged, or unconscious. If a person has sex with someone who is unable to consent, or is prevented from resisting because of the effects of alcohol or other drugs, it can be considered sexual assault if the assailant knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was mentally and/or physically incapacitated. Even if the person who assaulted you had been drinking and/or using drugs, that person is still responsible for committing the assault. Being drunk is not an excuse for committing any criminal acts, including sexual assault.
Know what you are drinking, what your limit is and stick to that limit.
Never leave your beverages unattended.
Attend parties with a group of friends and watch out for each other.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Avoid being isolated with someone you don't trust or know very well.