While there’s no way to change what happened to you, you can seek justice by helping to stop it from happening to others by reporting the sexual assault to the police even if you don’t intend to press charges. If the assault occurred on campus, call University Police at (510) 885-3333.
In order to preserve evidence:
- Do not wash your hands or face.
- Do not shower or bathe.
- Do not brush your teeth.
- Do not smoke or chew gum.
- Do not change clothes.
- Do not straighten the area where the assault took place.
You should still report the crime, even if you have already done these things.
Medical attention will be needed for any internal or external injuries and you will be offered treatment to try and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Student Health Services is available to provide these services.
Call a trusted person and/or rape/crisis hotline.
The following 24-hour rape crisis center hotlines are available to help:
- Bay Area Women Against Rape, (510) 845-7273
- Highland Sexual Assault Center, (510) 534-9290
- National Sexual Assault Hotline, (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
Report the incident to the police.
If your friend is willing to report the crime, encourage them to contact the police as soon as possible. Police officers can help victims get medical care and resolve concerns about safety. If the incident occurred on campus,
call (510) 885-3333 to report the incident.
Seek medical care.
Even if the assault happened awhile ago or if your friend does not appear to have any physical injuries, encourage them to seek medical attention to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Student Health Services is available to provide these services. Call (510) 885-3735 to make an appointment.
Talk to a counselor about the incident.
Counseling & Psychological Services is also a campus resource available to provide support. Call (510) 885-3690 to make an appointment or walk-in Monday through Friday, 11:00am - 1:00pm and 3:00pm - 5:00pm. If your friend isn’t ready to talk to a counselor in-person, encourage them to call a rape hotline to talk with a counselor over the phone. The following 24-hour rape crisis center hotlines are available to help:
- Be interested and empathic without prying or pressing for details.
- Let your friend express their feelings about what happened.
- Try not to criticize or judge. No one deserves to be raped.
- Respect their decisions about what they want: who to tell, whether or not to report to the police, what makes them feel safe, etc.
- Let them know you believe them. It takes courage to talk about a sexual assault with other people. Many victims remain silent because they feel ashamed and/or they fear they will be blamed or no one will believe them if they tell other people what happened to them.
- Let them know you care about them.
- Respect your friend's privacy. Don't disclose what the victim tells you to other people. Let your friend decide whom they want to confide in.
You can go with them when they make a police report, tell a parent and/or partner, seek medical care, an evidentiary examination, counseling, or other services.
If someone you know is raped, you may feel upset. Even if your friend doesn't want to talk to a counselor, you can get support for yourself. Talking to a counselor can help you understand your own reactions and what you and your friend are going through. A counselor can also give you additional ideas about how to help your friend. Counseling & Psychological Services is a campus resource available to provide support. Call (510) 885-3690 to make an appointment or walk-in Monday through Friday, 11:00am - 1:00pm and 3:00pm - 5:00pm. You can also call a rape hotline to talk with a counselor over the phone. The following 24-hour rape crisis center hotlines are available to help:
Positive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will. The person must act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the nature of the act or transaction involved. A current or previous dating or marital relationship shall not be sufficient to constitute consent where consent is at issue in any form of sexual assault.
-California Penal Code, Section 261.6
Forced sexual intercourse that is perpetrated against the will of a person or when the person is unable to give consent (i.e., unconscious, asleep, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs) and may involve physical violence, coercion, or the threat of harm to the individual.
-California Penal Code, Section 261-269
A crime in which a person is threatened, coerced, forced, subdued by alcohol or other drugs, or tricked into complying with a sex act against his/her will. Crimes include sexual battery; unlawful sexual intercourse; rape; sodomy; oral copulation; unlawful sexual penetration and lewd and lascivious acts.
-California Penal Code, Sections 243.4, 261-269, 286, 288a and 289
Women on college campuses who are 18 to 24 years of age are at greater risk for becoming victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking than women in the general population.
Sexual Assault & Alcohol Use
MYTH: Sexual assault won’t happen to me or to anyone I know.
FACT: Men, women and children of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations and economic classes can be and have been victims of sexual assault.
MYTH: Sexual assault is provoked by the victim’s actions, behaviors [e.g. alcohol intoxication], or by the way they dress.
FACT: Sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault. No one “asks” for or deserves this type of attack no matter how much alcohol was consumed or how they were dressed. Responsibility lies with the perpetrator; the survivor is never responsible for the assailant's behavior. Alcohol may increase the risk of sexual assault, and may make someone incapable of giving consent or protecting themselves, but it is not the cause of the assault.
MYTH: Most sexual assaults occur between strangers.
FACT: Sexual offenders come from all educational, occupational, racial and cultural backgrounds. Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Studies show that approximately 73% of women reporting sexual assaults knew their assailant.1
MYTH: You cannot be assaulted against your will.
FACT: Assailants overpower their victim with the threat of violence or with actual violence. In cases of acquaintance rape or incest, an assailant often uses the victim's trust in the assailant to isolate the victim.
MYTH: When a woman says “No,” she really means yes.
FACT: No means NO! Without her consent, it is sexual assault. Everyone has the right to control what happens to one's body.
MYTH: Women falsely accuse men of sexual assault.
FACT: Reported sexual assaults are true, with very few exceptions. FBI crime statistics indicate that only 2% of reported rapes are false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other major crime reports.
MYTH: It's not rape if the couple is dating or is married.
FACT: Unwanted sexual activity in any relationship qualifies as sexual assault.
MYTH: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
FACT: Men can be, and are, sexually assaulted. Current statistics indicate that 1 in 33 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.2 Sexual assault of men is thought to be greatly under-reported.
MYTH: Victims who do not fight back have not been sexually assaulted.
FACT: Anytime someone is forced to have sex against their will, they have been sexually assaulted, regardless of whether or not they fought back. There are many reasons why a victim might not physically fight their attacker including shock, fear, threats or the size and strength of the attacker.
MYTH: A person who has really been assaulted will be hysterical.
FACT: Survivors exhibit a spectrum of emotional responses to the assault: calm, hysteria, laughter, guilt, anger, apathy, shock. Each survivor copes with the trauma of the assault in a different way.
MYTH: Sexual assaults only occur in dark alleys and isolated areas.
FACT: A sexual assault can happen anywhere and at any time. The majority of assaults occur in places ordinarily thought to be safe, such as homes, cars and offices. Among college women, 61% of attempted and completed sexual assaults occurred in the victim’s residence and 31% in campus housing.3
MYTH: Sexual assault results from an uncontrollable impulsive sexual urge.
FACT: Sexual assault is motivated by hostility, power and control. Sexual assaults are not motivated by sexual desire. Unlike animals, humans are capable of controlling how they choose to act on or express sexual urges.
Our department collaborates with many student organizations and campus departments who might want to educate their members about sexual assault prevention. If you would like to work with us to coordinate and develop a program or presentation, please contact our department with at least 3 weeks notice before the date of your event to conduct the program/presentation.
Student Health & Counseling Services sponsors R.A.D. classes with the University Police periodically. Please contact our department for more details about the class and enrollment.
Police officers are available to escort you to parking lots in the evenings. Call (510) 885-3791 to request this service.
1. U.S. Department of Justice. (2006) National Crime Victimization Study, 2005.
2. National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (1998) Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey.
3. Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., Turner, M.G. (2000) The sexual victimization of college women (p.17 & 18). Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
4. Abbey, A., McAuslan, P. and Ross, L.T. (1998) Sexual assault perpetration by college men: The role of alcohol, misperception of sexual intent, and sexual beliefs and experiences. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 17: 167-195.