Understanding Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault is any sexual contact or sexual attention committed by force, threats, bribes, manipulation, pressure, tricks or violence. It includes rape and attempted rape, child molestation, incest, sexual harassment and stalking.
Sexual assault is a terrifying and often brutal crime: assailants can be strangers, acquaintances, friends or family members. The devastating effects are shared by victims and those who love them.
A rape occurs every six minutes in the U.S., according to the FBI. Rape is a crime of violence, anger, and power. It is not motivated by sexual desire. Rapists use sexual violence as a weapon to control, humiliate, and hurt their victims. Anyone can become a victim, because victims are not selected for their attractiveness, appearance, or behavior. Sexual assault of any type is never a victim's fault. No one ever "asks for" or deserves to be sexually assaulted.
WHAT TO DO IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU...
- Get to a safe place and get help immediately. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you and assist you in getting the help you need.
- Call the University Police at (205) 348-5454.
- Call the Women's Resource Center at (205) 348-5040 during daytime hours to get help and support. After hours and on weekends, call the University Police at (205) 348-5454 and ask them to get in touch with the WRC On-Call Advocate.
- Get medical care. Go to the emergency room (at DCH, if you're in Tuscaloosa) as soon as possible for an examination and evidence collection. Ask that the Women's Resource Center's On-Call Advocate be contacted to provide hospital accompaniment.
- Request that the hospital take a urine sample for drug toxicology testing to be done by your law enforcement agency's crime lab. A special test must be conducted to detect Rohypnol in a urine specimen.
- Preserve as much physical evidence as possible. Do not urinate, shower, bathe, douche, or throw away the clothing you were wearing during the incident. If possible, save any other materials that might provide evidence, such as the glass that held your drink.
The Date Rapist: Who Is He?
Like any violent criminal, the psychological profile of a date rapist is complicated. There are, however, simple warning signs which indicate potential for violence against women. Be aware and conscious of the following...
- a man who is overly aggressive in his daily behavior
- a man who does not respect your feelings or wishes
- a man who regularly invades your body space or is too "touchy-feely"
- a man who is overtly or verbally hostile to women
- a man who physically or sexually comes on too strong
- a man who makes lewd, demeaning comments about women, especially of a sexual nature
- a man who shows that he feels he must control your behavior or treats you as his property
- a man who expresses archaic or wrong ideas about women: "they're sex objects" or "nice girls don't get raped"
A man may not exhibit any of these behaviors early in a relationship but may still be a date rapist. If you feel something is wrong, trust your instincts.
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug to facilitate rapes. 72% of sexual assault victims and 75% of perpetrators on college campuses were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during an attack (Journal of Alcohol Studies, 2004). Alcohol decreases the victim's ability to assess her own danger, communicate effectively, or to defend herself, leaving her more vulnerable to attack. It also lowers the perpetrator's inhibition of inappropriate behavior and decreases his ability to accurately judge a situation or to determine whether someone is giving consent. A person who is too drunk to drive is too drunk to give consent.
Common street names for ROHYPNOL Ruffies, Roofies, Roches, Roaches, La Rochas, Rope, Rib, Forget Pill, Poor Man's Quaalude, R-2s, Roach-2s, Circles, Dulcitas, Whiteys, Trip-and-Fall, Mind-Erasers, Mexican Valium, Lunch Money, Potatoes, Negatives, Minuses, Pluses, Roches Dos
Common street names for GAMMA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE (GHB) Liquid X, Liquid E, Liquid Ecstasy, Easy Lay, G, Vita-G, G-Juice, Georgia Home Boy, Great Hormones, Somatomax, Bedtime Scoop, Super Scoop, Soap, Gook, Gamma 10, Energy Drink
SIGNS THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN DRUGGED...
- If you feel a lot more intoxicated than your usual response to the amount of alcohol you've consumed...
- If you wake up very hung over, feeling "fuzzy," experiencing memory lapse, and can't account for a period of time...
- If you remember taking a drink but cannot recall what happened for a period of time after you consumed the drink...
- If you feel as though someone had sex with you but you can t remember any or all of the incident...
Date Rape Drug Information
Date Rape Drugs Explained and De-mystified (about.com)
Date Rape Drug Spotter (Time Magazine, 2002)
For more information, visit our links page.