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sexual assault prevention

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Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics

What is Sexual Assault?

In its simplest definition, sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault includes the act of rape (oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse without consent) or forced penetration by a foreign object (including a finger). It also includes non-penetrating acts such as touching an unwilling person’s sexual parts (e.g. breast, buttocks, genitalia), naked or through clothing, or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s sexual parts. Force includes the use of physical aggression, threats of physical aggression, or sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent (e.g. unconscious, too intoxicated to consent, asleep, etc.). Non-forceful coercion can also be used, for example, threatening to reveal secrets, to tell others that the victim and perpetrator had sexual intercourse, to fire an employee or fail a student (these cases also fit the definition of sexual harassment) or threatening the victims friends or family members are all forms of coercion. Sexual assaults are committed by both strangers AND people the victim know. In fact, the vast majority of rapes and sexual assaults are committed by someone the victims knows, ranging from friends and acquaintances to dates, romantic partners, and spouses or domestic partners. Although people often think of rape as something that only happens to women, this is not the case. Both men and women are sexually assaulted, as are people of every ethnicity, age, culture, religion, economic background, or sexual orientation.

Although these definitions seem clear, people are often confused as to whether they have been sexually assaulted or not, or even if they have been raped or not. This is particularly true when the survivor knows their assailant, as they may often feel that they somehow led the person on, or that they are in some way responsible for the assault. In many cases, survivors may feel that because they were not seriously hurt physically, it wasn’t really rape. This is not true. ANY sexual contact forced upon you by someone against your will is illegal.

Facts About Sexual Assault

  • Most victims are assaulted in an environment they consider safe and by someone known to them.
  • 70% of all rapes involve the use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Approximately 70% of female rape victims and 74% of male rape victims knew their assailant.
  • 66% of the assaults occurred inside a residence or vehicle.
  • 77% of the victims of acquaintance rape were between 14-25 years of age.
  • 52% of acquaintance rapes occurred between Friday and Sunday.
  • In 1999, one in every 10 rape victims were male.
  • Only 27% of the women whose sexual assault met the legal definition of rape thought of themselves as rape victims.
  • 42% of college women who are raped tell no one about their assault.
  • 84% of college men who committed rape said that what they did was definitely not rape.
  • Nearly one third of college men said they were likely to have sex with an unwilling partner if they thought they could get away with it.

Sexual Assault Statistics at SRJC

As required by law, the Jeanne Clery Act requires that statistics are available to the public regarding crimes reported on and near college campuses.  You may find this information about Santa Rosa Junior College on the following Web site:  www.santarosa.edu/police

Prevention

While there is no single strategy to make you immune to sexual assault or to the threat of it, there are approaches that can reduce the chances of an assault taking place.

General Approaches:

  • Take a self-defense course
  • Stay away from isolated areas, day or night
  • Always make sure you have enough gas, and your car is in good repair, before you leave
  • Consider carrying a cellular phone
  • Always keep doors locked at your home
  • Know who is at the door before opening it. Ask for identification from anyone you don't know.
  • Use caution over the phone. Never reveal your phone number or name to a wrong number caller. Don't reveal to a caller that you are alone.
  • Encourage group activities in early stages of relationships
  • Trust your gut instincts, if someone makes you feel  uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation.

At Parties:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if you drink at all:  Substance abuse impairs your judgment, your ability to communicate effectively, and deprives you of strength, ability to move, or think clearly if a dangerous situation develops.
  • Have a buddy system:  Go to parties or clubs with a friend and be responsible for each other.  Have a pre-planned signal for an uncomfortable situation, with an action plan.
  • Keep track of your own beverages: To avoid being drugged, don’t drink from a communal drink container, don’t leave your drink unattended, make your own drinks.

If You Are In A Relationship

  • Examine your needs and desires before you get into a sexual situation.
  • Clearly tell your partner what you want. If there are limits that you want to maintain, state what they are and stick to them.
  • Clearly ask your partner what he/she wants.
  • Listen to each other.
  • Be aware of non-verbal cues, but do not rely on them. If you are not sure, ask.
  • Communicate clearly and be assertive. Saying "yes" or "no" may be difficult, but it is important. Passive or polite approaches can be misunderstood or ignored.

What to do if you have been assaulted:

  • Get to a safe place. Your immediate safety is first.
  • Call a friend or family member; someone you trust, for support.
  • Call Verity 24/7 Hotline for support.– speak confidentially with a victim advocate 707-545-7273 or  707-545-RAPE.
  • Get immediate medical attention. Medical care is important, to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and to attend to any injuries. A medical exam is also an important part of the evidence collection needed to file a police report. Evidence should be collected within 72 hours. An advocate can meet you at the designated hospital in Santa Rosa, CA . The advocate can stay with you to provide support and answer questions.
  • Call the police. Reporting the assault to the police is a matter of choice. If you decide not to go to the police right away, write down everything you can remember about what happened and save it in case you change your mind later.
  • If you think you may want to press legal charges–
    • DO NOT bathe
    • DO NOT brush your teeth, smoke, eat or drink
    • DO NOT change your clothes
    • Evidence should be collected within 72 hours.

SRJC Policy/Procedures

Santa Rosa Junior College ’s Policy and Procedures 7.18 RESPONSE TO SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE is designed to assure a safe environment for victims of sexual assault to report the crime, and to make sure that victims get appropriate treatment, information and/or referrals to community agencies and medical facilities.

Assistance for Victims of Sexual Assaults

The District Police Department is committed to ensuring that students, employees, and other persons who have been sexually assaulted are provided treatment, medical, and counseling assistance and information, and that they are treated with sensitivity, dignity and confidentiality. Every effort is made to ensure that our educational environment promotes and assists prompt reporting of sexual assaults and provides compassionate support services for survivors. Prompt reporting of sexual assaults is encouraged.

Reporting the Sexual Assault

Sexual assaults should be reported to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the location where the crime occurred. Sexual assaults that occur on campus or any District facility should be reported to District Police by calling 527-1000.   When the crime occurs off District property, District Police will assist the survivor by facilitating contact with the law enforcement having jurisdiction over the location where the crime occurred. Reports may be made anonymously. Certain District employees must report any sexual assault on a person under the age of 18, over the age of 65, or a dependent adult, should they become aware of such a crime.

Legal Options

Any person who has been sexually assaulted has several legal options: criminal prosecution against the assailant; and/or civil prosecution against the assailant; and/or the College District disciplinary procedure if the assailant is an employee or student.

Support Resources

Santa Rosa Junior College Resources
District Police Department (707) 527-1000
Student Psychological Services (707) 524-1595
Student Health Services (707) 527-4445
Office of the Vice President of Student Services (707) 524-1647
District Compliance Office (707) 527-4954
Student Counseling and Support Services Dept. (707) 577-4451

Sonoma County Community Resources
Verity (see information below) (707) 545-7273
Sonoma County Victim/Witness Assistance (707) 565-8250
YWCA of Sonoma County
         (Legal Advocacy, Temporary Restraining Order help, Emergency Housing)
24hr Crisis Hotline: (707) 546-1234
(707) 565-5661
Adult Protective Services for Sonoma County 24hr Abuse Hotline: (800) 667-0404
Child Protective Services for Sonoma County     24 hour Emergency Line (707) 565-4304
(800) 870-7064
Suicide Prevention 1-800-746-8181
MEN (Men Evolving Non-Violently) Offender Hotline (707) 528-2636
Legal Aid of Sonoma County (707) 542-1290
Legal Services / Lawyer Referral (707) 546-5297

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE

Verity
835 Piner Road, Suite D
Santa Rosa CA 95403-2063
http://ourverity.org

FREE services are provided to victims of all forms of sexual assault including: incest, child sexual abuse, date rape, marital rape, same sex rape, sexual harassment, and attempted sexual assault…No matter how long ago the incident occurred. These services are provided by staff and trained volunteers.

24/7 Rape Crisis Hotline   (707) 545-7273
Hearing and Speech Impaired Rape Crisis Hotline TDD   (707) 545-5543
Walk-in Crisis Counseling - Weekdays, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

Accompaniment and Advocacy
Individual Therapy
Support Groups
Information and Referrals

SERVICES FOR:

  • Adults and Children age 6 and older
  • Female and Male Survivors
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Survivors
  • Family, friends and support people of survivors

Web Resources

Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges