Society has become increasingly accepting of the fact that girls and women are not the only victims of sexual assault. However, there remains a general denial that adolescent and adult men are susceptible to victimization.
Additionally, the sexual violence experienced by transgender and non-conforming individuals is often minimized or disregarded, which impacts the safety and visibility of this community in a myriad of ways.
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The following are some common responses and feelings to sexual assault experienced by both men and women:. Research is limited, but there is evidence that the rate of sexual assault upon this community is very high. It is often part of a hate crime with a high degree of violence that may cause serious injury.
Here are some resources for further information:. Disclaimer: The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat or provide a second opinion on any health problem or disease. Sexual Assault and Rape. Go to a safe place. Consider calling a trusted friend, family member or advocate for support.
This is not the time to be alone; 24 hour crisis lines have trained staff who can provide support and options. Get medical attention. As soon as possible, go to an emergency room or the Urgent Care center at University Health Services to be examined and treated for any injuries. If you decide to report, physical specimens collected soon after the sexual assault will be valuable evidence. Do not shower or clean yourself first.
Consider reporting the assault to police and university officials, whether or not you plan to request that charges be filed.
Reporting a sexual assault does not commit you to a full legal process, but keeps options open. When you make your report, you may take someone with you.
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You can go the next day, but the sooner the better. Rarely do rapists attack one person only.
This does not change what happened to you, but taking action to seek justice can be empowering. It can also be a hard process. Each person must decide for themselves, based on their own circumstances, whether it makes sense to take this step. Social Services staff are available to help you consider the pros and cons of making an official report.
Make space for healing. You have been through a trauma that has likely impacted your emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.
You may experience many different emotions - fear, grief, guilt, shame, rage. There are many options for support: Talk with a counselor at the Tang Center; a survivors group offered at the Tang Center or talk with friends and family.
People who receive counseling tend to recover faster and with fewer lasting effects than those who get no help. Recovery from rape doesn't change the fact that the rape happened. It does mean that, over time, the survivor is not thinking about the rape as much, and their emotions are not dominated by it.
The survivor is able to envision a future, to set goals and work to achieve them. Their life moves forward. Be compassionate with yourself; you are not to blame for the rape. Your behavior did not cause the rape; the rapist caused the rape. What to do if you had sex when you didn't really want to Be compassionate with yourself.
Sex with a partner can be confusing and involve lots of unclear or misunderstood communication. Even if you didn't say no, or believe you could have stopped having sex if you had tried harder, it is not your fault if you did not give explicit consent. A prior intimate relationship with someone does not imply consent. Furthermore, California law says you cannot give consent when you are impaired by alcohol or another substance. Just as in the case of sexual assault you have been through an unpleasant, intimate experience, a violation, and we encourage you to make space for your own emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual healing.
If your sexual partner is someone in an intimate relationship with you. Just as in the case of sexual assault, you may be overwhelmed by many different emotions — fear, grief, guilt, shame, rage, self-blame. It is important to seek support, and your partner is not likely to be able to provide the support you need. Evaluate what has happened to you. Use your support system to think about what happened. Unwanted sex is a violation, and what happened to you could have been rape or sexual assault, even if you are reluctant to use these terms.
A recent national survey showed that nearly half of college-age women who underwent actual or attempted rape could not bring themselves to define it as such. If this occurred in the context of a short- or long-term relationship, what does it say about your relationship? What would you want to tell your partner? Is it safe to tell your partner this? If you decide on boundaries, will your partner respect them? And the bottom-line question is: are you safe in this relationship? For help in exploring these questions, contact the Tang Center or other support systems.
You have the absolute right to be safe from unwanted sex and to have your safety and boundaries respected by your friends, dates and other relationships. How advisers and faculty can help a student who has been assaulted Be supportive by listening and taking what the student says seriously. Don't press for details. Let the student decide how much to share about the assault and its impact. Avoid "why" questions; they can make a person feel judged. Most survivors will blame themselves for what happened, particularly if they were drinking at the time or taking any kind of risk.
It is important to counter this with strong messages that the assault was the fault and responsibility of the assailant and not the survivor, no matter what the circumstances. Support those decisions. Taking back control is an important part of a survivor's healing process. Offer options.
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Be clear as to what you can and cannot do. For example, as an advisor, you can help the student adjust her course load, withdraw from school, change her grading options, and offer referrals for other types of support, but you cannot be her counselor. Offer resources. Encourage the student to get support. Suggest talking with a counselor on the phone if the student is not ready to come to the Tang Center.
Help the student look up a hour hotline to carry. Encourage the student to seek medical care if this seems warranted. If the assault is recent, it may be possible to do an evidentiary exam and keep the option of legal prosecution open. Forensic exams are paid for by the State of California and are appropriate in the first few days following an assault. Medical care may still be appropriate for assaults that occurred more distantly. Protect the student's privacy. As much as we all need to de-brief when we hear upsetting situations, it is possible to do so without names and details.
It is important to let the student decide whom to confide in.
If you are a Campus Security Authority and have a reporting responsibility under the Clery Act, let the student know this as early in the conversation as possible. Be mindful of your own needs and self-care. People in supporting roles may benefit from consultation or counseling with a professional.
How you can help a friend who has been sexually assaulted Offer support by actively listening and taking what your friend says seriously. Practice compassion; this is not the time to point out life lessons. Let your friend know the assault was not their fault.
Sexual assault and rape
Many survivors blame themselves by looking backwards and seeing opportunities to have done something differently that may or may not have changed the outcome. Challenge this belief with the message that the fault and responsibility lie with the person who created the harm, not the survivor. Encourage your friend to seek medical attention, and offer to accompany her or him to a medical clinic or emergency room.