Defining Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence is a broad term for any sexual act that is committed or attempted against a person who has refused consent or is unable to give or refuse consent due to disability, intoxication, lack of consciousness, etc. It can include sexual assault, abuse and harassment.
Sexual Violence is never the victim’s fault.
Most sexual assaults are planned in advance and committed by someone the victim knows and trusts.
Sources: OJP Bureau of Justice Statistics, CDC NISVS
If You Have Experienced Sexual Violence
Contact the Rape Crisis and Counseling Center. Our trained staff will connect you with resources, accompany you to the hospital or police department (if you choose), get counseling and feel safe again. All services are free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day.
COMPASS Rape Crisis now has resources available in YSU’s Office of Student Outreach & Support located in the Office of Student Outreach & Support Kilcawley Center, Suite 1055 and a Community Counselor on campus at Eastern Gateway Community College.
What is Consent?
Consent involves an act of free will, absent of coercion, intimidation, threat or threat of force. A person cannot give consent if they are impaired by the influence of alcohol or drugs. The individual initiating the act is responsible for obtaining consent.
When It Happens to a Friend
- Believe them and reassure them that the incident wasn’t their fault.
- Encourage them to seek medical attention and consider reporting the incident to authorities.
- Show support by listening and not asking blaming questions (What were you wearing? etc.).
- Help them find the resources they need to heal, such as the local rape crisis center and on-campus support services.
- Allow them to make decisions without feeling judged.
- Do not tell others what happened without your friend’s permission.
College campuses can give you a sense of security—a feeling that everyone knows each other and watches out for one another. There are perpetrators who take advantage of this feeling of safety and commit sexual violence. Always think about your safety, but don’t blame yourself for the actions of a perpetrator. Survivors are never to blame.
- Familiarize yourself with local health and safety resources; save the campus police number into your phone.
- Remain alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Be careful about what you share on social media; disable location sharing and tracking.
- Make people earn your trust before relying on them.
- Lock your door and windows; inform security if other residents keep the main door to the building propped open.
- Take caution at parties; attend with trustworthy friends and plan to watch out for each other, never leave your drink unattended, and limit your alcohol intake.
- If you feel uncomfortable, pressured or threatened, make up an excuse to leave immediately.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.