Student Consultation Team

Sexual Assault

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NOTE: You are a Mandatory Reporter and this situation MUST be reported to your supervisor or Title IX Coordinator immediately. You may not offer confidentiality to the student in this case.

 

Sexual assault is sexual contact by one person against another without consent.  The law defines consent as positive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will.  Consent may not be inferred from silence or passivity.  A current or previous relationship (including marriage) does not constitute consent. 


Sexual assaults are predominately committed by men against women.  However, men can be assaulted by women.  Same-sex assaults do occur as well.  The majority of assaults (90%) are committed by an acquaintance of the victim and involve the use of alcohol by one or both persons.  Incidents of sexual assault are against the law and university policy.

 

There are many emotional and psychological reactions that victims of rape and/or sexual assault can experience.  One of the most common of these is depression.  Additionally, survivors of sexual assault may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a direct result of the assault.

Helpful Actions

  • When possible, speak to the person in private.  Be aware that when a person discloses information about an assault to you, she/he is demonstrating trust in you and the desire for help.
  • Listen without conveying judgment.  Victims can feel shame and anger towards themselves.
  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.  Respect the student's right to make decisions that are helpful in maintaining privacy, keeping safe, and obtaining support.
  • Refer the person to University Police (406-657-222) if the person wants to make a police report.  If they have been drinking underage, they are still encouraged to call the police without fear of punishment for those offenses.
  • Refer the person to the Phoenix Center and/or Student Health Services.

Unhelpful Actions

  • Minimizing the situation.
  • Telling other people about the incident, except for those who need to know.
  • Conveying negative judgment even when high-risk behavior, such as intoxication, is involved.
  • Assuring the person you can ensure confidentiality.
  • Putting extra pressure on the person to make a police report.
  • Delaying referring the person to a sexual harassment advisor, or other supportive professional or service.

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