What to Do

Sexual Assault

  1. Get to a safe place and call 911.
  2. Do not shower, bathe, douche or change your clothes if you have been assaulted or raped.
  3. Do not disturb anything at the scene of the assault or throw away any evidence.
  4. Contact friends/family for help and support.
  5. Go to a hospital for medical care. You will be given a physical exam and options for the prevention of pregnancy, STIs and HIV/AIDS.
  6. Medical professionals are required to notify the police whenever they treat a rape victim, but  the decision to make a formal police report is still yours.
  7. If you decide not to go to the police immediately, write down all the details of the assault (who, what, when, where, why and how) and keep them in case you wish to report the assault later.
  8. If the incident occurred on campus or at a college sponsored event, report the incident to your Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee.
  9. Seek crisis intervention through resources listed on the back of this brochure.

Sexual Harassment

In Back Off! How To Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers, Martha Langelan recommends taking these steps for confronting sexual harassment:

  • Do the unexpected: Name the behavior. Whatever the person did, say it, and be specific.
  • Hold the harasser accountable for his or her actions. Don't make excuses; don't pretend it didn't really happen.
  • Make honest, direct statements. Speak the truth (no threats, no insults, no obscenities, no appeasing verbal fluff and padding). Be serious, straightforward, and blunt.
  • Demand that the harassment stop.
  • Stick to your own agenda. Don't respond to the harasser's excuses or distracting tactics.
  • Reinforce your statements with strong, self-respecting body language: eye contact, head up, shoulders back, a strong, serious stance. Don't smile. Timid, submissive body language will undermine your message.
  • Respond at the appropriate level. Use a combined verbal and physical response to physical harassment.

How Do You Help a Friend?

A person who has been assaulted needs an empathetic listener who is nonjudgmental. Remain calm, and let the victim do the talking. Encourage the victim to seek medical attention and counseling.
Remember, it is the victim’s choice how and who to tell about the assault. Be clear and upfront about your ability to maintain confidentiality and reporting obligations. Listen without interrupting.


Do

  • Remain calm and concerned.
  • Respect the language the victim uses to identify what has happened.
  • Allow them to express their feelings.
  • Believe and support the victim.
  • Acknowledge discomfort and courage.
  • Remind the victim that they are not at fault.
  • Allow them to make their own decisions.
  • Provide resources and options
  • Make sure that your friend has a safe place to stay


Do Not

  • Attempt revenge
  • Be angry with your friend
  • Force them to talk or take control of them
  • Blame them
  • Assume you understand how the friend feels
  • Make jokes
  • Discuss the incident with anyone else, except with your friend’s permission

Reduce the Risk of Sexual Assault

  • Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say “NO” to any unwanted sexual contact.
  • Communicate your limits firmly and directly. Avoid giving mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm voice and clear body language. Do not assume that someone will automatically know how you feel or understand your limits without you having to say anything.
  • Listen to your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable or think you might be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave if you feel threatened, pressured, or coerced into sexual activity.
  • Attend large parties with friends you trust. Agree to be attentive to one another. Leave with the group, not alone. Avoid leaving with people you don’t know very well.
  • Be aware of the role of alcohol in sexual assault. Alcohol can:
    • Impair a perpetrator’s judgment so he/she disregards your “NO”!
    • Impair a victims judgement so he/she is less likely to identify warning signs
    • Be perceived as an excuse, by perpetrators, for their behavior

 

Bystander Intervention

Bystanders are “individuals who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. They are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it.” They are someone who is present and thus potentially in position to discourage, prevent, or interrupt an incidence of sexual misconduct.” The South Carolina Technical College System encourages all students, faculty, and staff to be engaged and proactive bystanders. See some tips for bystander intervention below:


Proactive Bystander Strategies

In order to be a proactive bystander who helps prevent cases of sexual harassment or sexual violence, you can…

  • Treat people with respect
  • Speak up when you hear people making statements that blame victims
  • Talk with friends about confronting violence against men or women
  • Encourage female/male friends to trust their instincts
  • Be a knowledgeable resource for victims
  • Don’t laugh at sexist jokes or comments
  • Look out for friends at parties and bars
  • Educate yourself and your friends
  • Use campus resources
  • Attend an awareness event
  • Empower victims to tell their stories


Reactive Bystander Strategies

In order to be a reactive bystander who positively intervenes in instances of sexual harassment or sexual violence, you can…

  • Get campus police or other authorities involved
  • Tell someone else
  • Get help
  • Ask a friend in a potentially dangerous situation if he/she wants to leave
  • Make sure he/she gets home safely
  • Ask a victim if he/she is okay
  • Provide options and a listening ear
  • Call the campus or local counseling/crisis center for support and options

 

 

Sources: “What Can I Do?” Prevention Innovations, UNH, www.unh.edu/preventioninnovations; The Transformation Project/Green Dot, The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, www.utc.edu/Outreach/TransformationProject/greendot.php