Sexual assault and violence on college campuses.
College can be a new and exciting time where you are sometimes away from home for the first time, forming new relationships and generally experiencing new things. One thing to keep in mind is that within those experiences and in unfortunate circumstances, sometimes sexual violence could happen.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that an American experiences a sexual assault every 92 seconds. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, college-aged students are at a higher risk for sexual violence than the general population.
Now let's get into what sexual violence is, who can be a victim, some of the stats, and what to do next.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence means that someone forces or manipulates someone else into some sort of unwanted sexual activity without their consent.
Who can be a victim of sexual assault and violence?
The first thing to note is that anyone can be a victim of sexual assault. Researchers identify no apparent factors increasing the risk that a child or a young person will be sexually abused. However, it is well known that age, stage, or gender contributes to the risk of being a target of sexual assault. This makes the college-age a period where many sexually violent acts can be perpetuated.
Let’s take a look at the stats on sexual violence on college campuses.
13% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students)
9.7% of females and 2.5% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation among, graduate and professional students.
26.4% of females and 6.8% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation among undergraduate students.
5.8% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.2
Student or not, college-age adults are at high risk for sexual violence.
Male college-aged students (18-24) are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be victims of rape or sexual assault.
Female college-aged students (18-24) are 20% less likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
Source: RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-violence
I was sexually assaulted. Was it my fault?
Often, victims of sexual assault may be tricked into believing that they might be at fault or contribute to the likelihood of being assaulted. This is false. Victims of sexual assault are not responsible for being sexually assaulted. The entire responsibility for sexual assault always lies with the perpetrator. It can sometimes be challenging, but it is crucial to speak up when a victim.
Source : https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249827.pdf
How can I get help if I am a victim of sexual assault on my college campus?
Suppose you are a victim of sexual assault or know someone who is a victim. In that case, it is crucial to notify campus authorities immediately or contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673.
I was a victim of sexual assault. What do I do next?
We know that sexual assault is quite traumatic, and the risks of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are incredibly high among victims of sexual violence. Nearly half of sexual assault victims report symptoms of PTSD, which include:
1. Re-experiencing the traumatic event (flashbacks and nightmares, etc.)
3. Overriding negative thoughts and beliefs
4. Startling easily
Through therapy, we can treat your PTSD or prevent it from taking hold in the first place if you would like to get connected to a therapist to discuss your experience and get help. Please contact Kiira for support right away, and we will be able to assist you.