- Most (80 to 90%) sexual assault victims are assaulted by someone they know.
- Most people tell the truth about sexual assault. Only 2% to 8% are false reports – same rate as most other felony crimes.
- Sexual assault is an act of violence, sex is a weapon.
- Majority of perpetrators remain undetected in our community – they are not caught.
- Sexual assault is a traumatic event and affects victim, families, friends, and communities.
Why does sexual assault happen?
- Gender stereotypes
- Gender expectations
- Social expectations
- Learned behavior
- Desire for power & control
- Power differential
Who is sexually assaulted?
Sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, race, culture, or religion. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
Deciding to Report
Sexual assaults are rarely reported. In fact, sexual assault remains the most drastically underreported crime in the U.S. In college, fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes are reported to the police.
Reporting rates are low for a variety of reasons:
- A survivor may be uncertain whether what happened was actually sexual assault.
- Sexual assaults that are committed by acquaintances are often trivialized as “not so bad” because it does not fit the common social understanding of sexual assault.
- Survivors may think they won’t be believed or may even be blamed by police, courts, and friends.
- Many victims/survivors find an immediate coping strategy in indulging in the denial that the assault ever occurred in the first place. Without the acknowledgement of the sexual assault, they find temporary relief from their experiences. However, this relief will not last, and will most likely affect their healing in the future.
- Also, if the assailant was an intimate partner or close friend, victims/survivors may feel torn between their personal violation from the experience and their love for the assailant. They do not want to get their loved one in trouble. Especially in these cases, victims/survivors may feel that they are to blame for the assault, and therefore do not feel validated or entitled to making a report.
If there is a chance that you might want to report, even in the future, it’s important to preserve all evidence. You can get an evidence exam at the St. Cloud Hospital, and you are NOT required to report to law enforcement. Here are some tips to help preserve evidence:
- Go to the hospital as soon as possible, within 120 hours (about 5 days) of the assault or contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.
- Do not shower, urinate, change clothes (including undergarments), brush teeth, bathe, or douche until the medical and legal evidence has been collected.
- If you choose to change clothes, place the clothes you were wearing in a paper bag (to preserve evidence) and bring it with you to the nearest hospital or law enforcement agency.
- If you chose to urinate, do so into a clean glass jar, and bring it with you to the hospital or law enforcement agency.
- Even if you choose not to report, you should still go to the nearest hospital or clinic. You may feel OK, but it is still a good idea to talk with a medical care provider about tests for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections/diseases, and support services.
- Visit the Central MN Sexual Assault Center for more information on medical care options.
CSB/SJU cares about you. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking and need immediate assistance, you have options:
- For incidents related to sexual assault and/or stalking, call the Central MN Sexual Assault Center’s 24-hour hotline at 320-251-4357.
- For incidents related to domestic violence and/or stalking, call Anna Marie’s Alliance 24-hour hotline at 320-253-6900.
- For police assistance, call 911, or for assistance on campus call CSB Security at 320-363-5000 or SJU Life Safety at 320-363-2144.
- For medical assistance, go to the St. Cloud Hospital Emergency Trauma Center, 1406 6th Ave N, Saint Cloud, MN 56303: 320-251-2700. For help with transportation, contact an advocate at Central MN Sexual Assault Center (listed above)
- CSB and SJU Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Prevention: Title IX – Sexual Misconduct Prevention – CSB+SJU