Rape and other sexual offenses are not just a woman’s problem.  Nor are they something that happens to someone else, somewhere else, Sexual assault happens everywhere, everyday, every minute to women and men of all ages.  Research has found that:

-        1 in 4 college women have been the victims of rape or attempted rape.

-        90% of the victims knew their assailants.

-        1 in 12 men admitted to having fulfilled the legal definition of rape.

-        85% or more of sexual assaults involved alcohol

Rape is not primarily sexual, but an act of violence, most often involving male aggression against women.  However, same sex rapes do occur and women raping men have been reported.  In addition, to aggression, it can occur because of frustration, power or punishment, but seldom is rape provoked by sexual needs.

The prevalent belief about rape is often that women cannot be raped unless they wanted to be.  This is nonsensical.  Many men have fantasized about raping women: however, most men have never acted on these fantasies.  Some people blame the victims of rape by saying that they asked for it. This is also nonsensical.

When a person who says he/she has been raped confronts an R.A., probably the most important response is to be sympathetic and understanding.  You should contact the Residence Hall Director as soon as possible and the Director of Residence Life must be notified.  A rape is traumatic, and it is important that the victim have supportive friends and/or counselors to share his/her feelings.  Sometimes rape victims feel too embarrassed or humiliated to speak about their experience.  However, it is known that women who have been raped and have talked about it afterwards are apt to feel less guilty and ashamed, because they were able to express their anger and to discuss the crime as something that happens to many women.

Also ask the victim if he/she would prefer to speak to someone of the same sex.  It is also important to recommend a victim get immediate medical attention.  The victim should not wash or change clothes, shower or douche until he/she has been examined.  A qualified health care provider should examine the rape victim. CVPH has a facility especially for rape victims. If the student wants to make a complaint assist the victim in making contact with University Police.

An R.A. needs to be supportive as possible to a victim of rape and try not to push the victim into anything.  Always try to show the options and be there for guidance, but the victim needs to be the one to make the decisions.

Preventing Rape:

-Tell someone where you will be and when; always make your schedule known.

-Do not walk anywhere alone, especially at night or in excluded areas.

-If you jog change your route frequently to avoid predictability.

-Never allow a stranger into your car or room.

-Do not hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.

-Park in well lighted areas and have your keys ready when you walk to your car.

-Drive at night with your car doors locked and windows up.

-Carry a loud whistle and be prepared to run and scream if necessary.

-Be aware of your surrounding and think of your safety!


(This section is adopted from Oneonta Residence Hall Program, 1985, p. V ( V10.)