Sexual Assault Prevention

If You Are Raped or Sexually Assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • Get help immediately by calling 911 or the Campus Police at 293-3136.
  • Tell someone.
  • Talk to a trusted friend, parent, or relative.
  • Call the local rape and domestic violence center. RDVIC is our local center and their number is 304-292-5100. A victim advocate is trained to help you understand your medical and legal options and provide emotional support.
  • Go to a hospital emergency room. Get a medical exam. You may have suffered internal injuries, contracted a sexually transmitted disease or become pregnant.
  • Do not bathe, change your clothes, comb your hair, wipe after urination or douche.
  • Submit a complaint to the Title IX Office

Valuable DNA evidence on your body or clothing may help identify the rapist.

If you feel you may have been drugged prior to the assault, it is important to save your first urine in a clean container. Take it with you to the hospital for drug testing.
  • If you are sexually assaulted, contact WVUPD, the University Carruth Center, or your Resident Hall Assistant immediately. The University has specially trained personnel to interview and counsel students who have been the victims of any type of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

Facts:

  • If someone forces you to have sex against your will or has sex with you while you are unconscious or unable to consent, this is rape and a criminal offense.
  • If someone touches you for sexual purposes without your consent, this is sexual assault and a criminal offense.
  • You have a legal and moral right to press criminal charges or internal charges through the University’s Judicial Boards or both.
  • You may pursue internal University charges through the WVU Police Department or the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Remember that you are not responsible for the unwelcome acts of others. It is never okay to force or coerce others into sex.
  • Over eighty percent of all rapes and sexual assaults on campus involve victims and perpetrators who are intoxicated and who knew each other. The victim often trusts the perpetrator.

The reoccurring characteristics (warning signs) associated with campus rape and sexual assault are:

  • They occur at weekend parties.
  • 80% of all rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
  • Rape is a crime of violence, power, and control. No one “asks” or “deserves” to be raped.
  • Females between the ages of 15-24 are most likely to be the target of acquaintance rape.
  • The woman is an underclass student, unfamiliar with alcohol and her surroundings.
  • The woman has not made arrangements with friends to travel together or “look out” for each other at parties.
  • The woman often goes to the perpetrator’s room or to her room alone, not suspecting that this isolation can put her at risk.
  • Some forms of sexual contact such as kissing, hugging, and touching may be mutually welcome, but sometimes the offender interprets this behavior as consent to go further.

Personal Safety Tips

  • Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. These tips may reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted, but the ability to prevent rape truly lies with the offender.
  • Know your limits and communicate them clearly and firmly. Decide what you are willing to do sexually. Never assume that others know how you feel.
  • Be aware of people who are disrespectful to you. This includes someone who tries to make you feel guilty for saying “no,” doesn’t respect your limits, tries to get you drunk or give you drugs.
  • Trust your feelings. Leave if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid secluded places, especially with someone you don’t know well.

If Someone You Know Has Been Assaulted:

  • Believe what you hear. Provide comfort and support.
  • Listen without judging.
  • Encourage your friend to talk. Try not to interrupt or ask a lot of questions.
  • Let your friend make her/his own decisions.
  • Offer to go with your friend to the hospital emergency room for help. Even days or weeks after an assault, a medical exam is important.
  • Give your friend the number for RDVIC (292-5100).
  • Do not tell others what happened without your friend’s permission.
  • Tell your friend no one deserves to be raped. It was not her/his fault, no matter what.