Sexual assault is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of forced and unwanted sexual activity, including kissing, exhibitionism, groping, and rape. Victims might be coerced into sexual acts through verbal or non-verbal threats or through the use of substances, such as alcohol or drugs. Sexual assault doesn't always involve physical contact – acts such as voyeurism and exhibitionism can still count as unwanted sexual attention.
Many victims know their assailant or rapist. Approximately two out of three sexual assaults are committed by an attacker that the victim knows, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). About 38% of rape incidents are committed by a friend or acquaintance of the victim. These trends are reinforced by Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics shown below, revealing that most attacks are perpetrated by someone close to or known by the victim.
The majority of sexual assault incidents go unreported, partially due to different social stigmas experienced by men and women who are victims of these crimes. Survey results published by RAINN show that about 60% of victims do not go to police, and only 25% of reported assaults actually lead to an arrest. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) describes other factors that prevent women from reporting attacks, including distrust of authorities and fear of blame.
Men can also be victims, with about 10% of sexual assault incidents involving attacks against males, according to statistics provided by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. The support organization, Male Survivor, describes how male victims face different types of stigma involving stereotypes of machismo, toughness, and a lack of vulnerability. These societal misconceptions can prevent men from reporting unwanted sexual activity.
"Preventing Sexual Assault on Campus - Best Colleges." Best Colleges RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.
The Department of Public Safety at Lane is sympathetic and responsive to sexual assault victims. It is in the Department's best interest to inform the Lane community and general public about sexual assault and provide them with resources to confront and survive these traumatic experiences. Listed below are online resources to help educate the community, possible bystanders during an assault, and especially sexual assault victims.
- Preventing Sexual Assault
- Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Support Services
- Bystanders: Your Best Weapon Against Sexual Assault
- Bystander Intervention Resources
- Sexual Misconduct and Stalking Procedure
The Public Safety Department directs a Sexual Assault Prevention & Response class open to the entire college community and the general public. During the two hour class, attendees are given instruction on how to prevent sexual assaults and harassment. Participants are then instructed on what they should and should not do if they are sexually assaulted. The individuals attending will then be informed on how and where to report these incidents. Public Safety offers Sexual Assault Awareness courses, at least once per term.