- 1 in 4 females will be a victim of either sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in her lifetime.1
- Some experts believe 10% - 50% of rapes are reported to authorities.2
- It has been estimated that approximately 90 percent of rapes on campus occur when either the rapist or victim has used alcohol.3
- Both males and females are victims of sexual assault, although females are the more likely victims.4
- One large study found that approximately two-thirds of rapes occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.5
- Date rape is forced intercourse with someone you know during a date. This can occur not only by force, but also when one is mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to provide consent.
- Dating violence refers to any type of sexual assault, physical violence, and verbal or emotional abuse within the context of dating.
- College students are particularly vulnerable to rape. Most rapes occur at college. Rape occurs on all campuses and cannot always be prevented.
- Research indicates that the average prevalence rate for nonsexual dating violence for college students is 32% with females more likely to report being victimized.
- One national study of college students found that over half of the females had experienced some type of unwanted sexual activity.6
- Of the rapes that occur on college campuses, 80% to 95% are committed by someone known to the victim.6
What To Do If You Are Raped
There are steps you can take if you have been a victim of sexual assault. Often, these steps can help you regain your sense of control and facilitate the healing process.
- Go to a safe place.
- Tell someone. Tell a trusted friend or family member.
- If the rape occurred on the USA campus, you may notify the USA Campus Police at 511. If the attack occurred off campus in Mobile, call the Mobile police at 911. Officers have received specialized training in sexual assault and are sensitive to your needs.
- Go to a hospital. If you are a USA student, USA Children and Women’s Hospital Evaluation Room has the evidence collection kits needed if you later decide to prosecute. You may need treatment for injuries. Do not bathe, douche, shower or change clothes before you arrive at the hospital. If you must change clothing, put clothing worn at the time of the attack in a paper bag rather than a plastic one.
- USA Victim’s Advocate Services –Trained advocates are available 24 hour a day, 7 day a week to provide emotional support, information, and referrals on services available following a sexual assault (medical, legal, housing, academic, ect.). USA assault hotline 251-460-7151. Mobile Rape Crisis Advocate services--251-473-7273.
- Consider legal proceedings as well as on-campus grievance procedures.
- Make an appointment with a counselor. A professional mental health counselor can help you to cope with what you have experienced and eventually resume to pre-crisis functioning. Counseling can also help you address shock, anger, guilt, adjustment, depression, and withdrawal.
What To Do If You Were Raped Months or Years Ago
Rape is a violent, intrusive act and many people still suffer flashbacks or have difficulty forming trusting relationships a long time after the rape. Some indications that you may still be having difficulty moving past the assault include the following:
- Continued anxiety
- Continued helplessness
- Sleep difficulties
- Social withdrawal
- Reluctance to leave the house
- Difficulty forming intimate relationships
- Sexual dysfunction
- Crying spells and/or anxiety attacks
These symptoms can occur even years after an attack. If you continue to experience difficulty related to a rape, consider making an appointment with a licensed mental health professional to help you reach resolution.
2 Kopper, B. A. (1992). Gender, gender identify, rape myth acceptance and time of initial resistance on the perception of acquaintance rape blame and avoidability. Sex Roles, 34 (1/2) , 81-93.
3 Student Affairs Today (1999). College Binge Drinking: The facts, p. 7. LRP Publications.
4 Sugarman, D. B. and Hotaling, G. T. (1989). Dating violence: Prevalence, context and risk markers. In Pirog-Good, M. A. and Stets, J. E. (Eds.) Violence in dating relationships, pp3-32. New York: Praeger.
5 U. S. Department of Justice (1999). Sixty percent of convicted sex offenders are on parole or probation. Available: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/press/soo.pr.
6 Centers for Disease Control (1999). Preventing violence and suicide: Enhancing futures. Available: http://cdc.gov/ncipe/dvp/yvpt/datviol.htm.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a licensed professional counselor, contact the USA Counseling Center at (334) 460-7051.