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Sexual Assault Survivor’s Guide

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. On this page you will find information, legal definitions, resources, and links you can use to learn more about sexual assault. An important point to remember is that no one deserves to be sexually assaulted.

Here are some statistics that indicate the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses:

  • Female college freshmen report higher incidences of sexual victimization than older students. 1
  • In a 1-year time period, about 3% of college women are victims of completed or attempted rape. 2
  • Almost half (48.8%) of college-aged women who were victims of attacks that met the study’s definition of rape did not consider what happened to them a sexual assault. 3
  • Systems of dominance, homophobia and gender rigidity not only perpetuate sexual violence, these systems of power serve to silence male survivors who may fear appearing powerless, weak, and unmasculine. 4
  • Sexual assaults in college are more likely to occur at night and in someone’s residence (either the victim’s or the offender’s). 5
  • In a study of college women, nearly 90% of rape or sexual assault victims knew the offender, who was usually a classmate, friend, ex-boyfriend, or acquaintance.  6

1. Humphrey, J. A. & White, J. A. (2000). Women’s vulnerability to sexual assault from adolescence to adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27(6), 419-424.

2. Fisher, Bonnie S.; Cullen, Francis T.; and Turner, Michael G. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. December 2000.

3. Fisher, Bonnie S.; Cullen, Francis T.; and Turner, Michael G. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. December 2000.

4. Michigan Resource Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, “Male Survivors of Sexual Violence” accessed 2/3/05 at Male Survivors of Sexual Violence PDF

5. Fisher, Bonnie s.; Cullen, Francis T.; and Turner, Michael G. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. December 2000.

6. Fisher, Bonnie s.; Cullen, Francis T.; and Turner, Michael G. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. December 2000.


What is sexual assault?

What is consent?

Who can be a perpetrator of sexual assault?

Who can be a victim of sexual assault?

What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?

What happens during the medical exam?

What are common reactions of survivors?

What can be done to minimize the risk of sexual assault?

Sexual assault survivors RIGHTS

People you can call, people who will listen

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