Sexual assault risk is one of the biggest concerns among college students. Statistics say that 1 out of 5 students faces it during their college years. Moreover, 95% of sexual assaults on campus go unreported. To eliminate this issue, it is critical to increase the prevention measures and strengthen the support systems. With that aim in mind, the federal government launched a project called Not Alone. This project strives to reach out to the victims, help them break the silence, and increase students’ security on campus. In the light of this project, we created the guide for students who want to know more about sexual assault in order to make them aware, help to prevent attacks, and undertake appropriate steps in case the assault was committed.
Sexual assault implies any unwanted or forced sexual activity, such as kissing, groping, rape, and exhibitionism. During, before, and after the attack, victims might face verbal and non-verbal threats, or be drugged by the offender.
In two cases out of three, sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Approximately 38% of these incidents are perpetrated by the victim’s friend. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), sexual assaults and rapes are most often committed in the home of the victim or the perpetrator.
Since men and women who were subjected to sexual assaults experience certain stigmas, most attacks of this kind go unreported. According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), fear of blame and distrust of authorities prevent women from reporting the assault. About 10% of all sexual attacks are committed over men, who also face stigma, such as stereotypes of toughness and machismo. Even if the assault is reported, it results in an arrest only in 25% of cases, says Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).
Sometimes it is hard for college students to identify the sexual assault and troubling behavior due to the lack of experience. Therefore, it is crucial to learn the signs of assault to timely stop the abusing relationship and report the attack. Sexual abuse can be emotional and physical.