Sexual Assault Information for Women

Sexual Assault Information for Women

Acquaintance rape is forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact by someone you know. If someone has ever forced you to have sex, you are a victim of rape. Acquaintance rape can happen to anyone at any time in any place. Cases reported to law enforcement show that acquaintance rape happens more often to college age students than to any other age group. Dr. Mary P. Koss, researcher at Kent State University, studied acquaintance rape on 35 college campuses. She found that one in four women were victims of rape or attempted rape; 84% of those women knew their attacker. Fifty-seven percent of those rapes happened on a date.

UW-Stout encourages victims of sexual assault to report the crime to the University Police or the Menomonie Police Department as soon as possible and to preserve any evidence which may be necessary in a criminal case. Any employee of UW-Stout who receives a report from an enrolled student that the student had been sexually assaulted should encourage the victim to contact University Police. The employee should also report the incident to the Dean of Students. The Dean is responsible for compiling reports for the purpose of disseminating statistical information.

How can you protect yourself against rape?

Communication between men and women can help stop acquaintance rape. Being aware of what you want, talking with each other, understanding each other's needs and respecting limits are all parts of the struggle to stop sexual assault.

  • Know you sexual desires and limits.
  • State your desires and limits clearly. Be aware that your nonverbal actions may send messages that you do not intend to send.
  • Pay attention to what is happening around you.
  • Trust your intuition. If you feel afraid, say so and get out of the situation.
  • Don't use drugs or alcohol on dates.
  • Be aware that nothing you do is a guarantee against sexual assault.
  • Alcohol and drugs can produce mood altering effects. Using alcohol and drugs can reduce men's inhibitions and help them excuse abusive behavior. It can make women more vulnerable to assault because reactions are slower and they are less able to resist. To be less vulnerable, a woman may want to cut down on her drinking and know her limits. She may also want to ask a friend along when going to a party or bar.
  • Don't leave your drink unattended at parties or bars.
  • Be assertive. Say "no" forcefully if pressured for unwanted sex
  • If "no" doesn't work, try to get away by running and screaming for help.
  • Attend the sexual assault and self-defense programs sponsored by University Police, Stout Student Association, and Residence Life.

What can you do in case of sexual assault?

If you have been raped, you may be confused. Here are some things you can do.

  • Remember that it is not your fault.
  • Report the assault to University Police as soon as possible.
  • Get medical attention. If you go to a hospital emergency room within 72 hours, the hospital can collect specimens and make detailed notes about the physical evidence, such as bruises, cuts, torn clothing, and traces of semen. You should be tested later for pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV.
  • You may want to talk to a crisis counselor about the assault. University Police can assist you in speaking with someone at the UW-Stout Counseling Center or The Bridge to Hope.

What to do if a friend is sexually assaulted?

If you know someone who has been raped, there are ways you can help.

  • Be supportive. Do not blame the victim for what has happened to her.
  • Listen. Respond to what she says she needs -- not what you think she needs.
  • Gently encourage her to call the police and to get medical attention.
  • Offer to help by making phone calls for her and driving her to the police department, hospital, and Counseling Center or The Bridge.
  • Offer to go with her to speak to the Dean of Students or Residence Life Office if she has on-campus concerns including assisting with reasonable changes in academic and living situations.
  • Stay with her during the interviews an examination if she wants.
  • Do not tell her when she will be "over" the rape.