1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males will be the victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. Even with these startling statistics, rape remains the most underreported of all crimes.
While you can be there and be supportive, please remember there are many resources available to help your friend and you. You may experience many similar feelings as you hear about the assault – like rage, sadness, fear, guilt, depression, or shock. It is important not to ignore those feelings you might be having as well. At WKU, students are welcome to come to the Counseling Center for confidential counseling with a professional counselor or psychologist. Here are some phone numbers to keep available:
- WKU Counseling Center: 745-3159
- Graves Gilbert Clinic at WKU: 745-2273
- WKU University Police: 745-2548
- Hope Harbor: A Sexual Trauma Recovery Center: 782-5014 or 24 hour crisis line 270-846-1100 or 1-800-656-4673
|Sexual Assault Response Protocol||
Western Kentucky University is a community dependent upon trust and respect for its faculty, staff, students and visitors. We are committed to showing zero tolerance for sexual assault which violates that trust and respect. The Sexual Assault Services Coordinator (SASC), housed in the Counseling Center, is available to provide assistance in cases of sexual assault emergencies for WKU Students. A sexual assault emergency is when a student reports to HRL or UPD that sexual misconduct/assault has occurred. At that time, the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator will be contacted to offer assistance and let them know of the resources available on our campus and in the community. To access the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator (or designated back up) during normal business hours, please contact the Counseling Center at 270-745-3159. Housing and Residence Life and the University Police Department might need assistance after hours. If this is the case, HRL will contact the SASC (or designated back up) directly to determine the need of the student (whether that be offering assistance by phone or responding in person to the residence hall, police department or hospital). The SASC (or designated back up) will be available to the University Police Department for assistance with victim services including advocacy during reporting. For the campus community not specifically listed, please contact the University Police Department for access to the SASC (or designated back up) if deemed appropriate.
The SASC will be the one to initially be called in case of a sexual assault emergency unless a designated back up person is identified for a specific time of coverage. In that case, the SASC will send an email with the date, name and contact information of the designated back up to UPD, HRL, Student Conduct, and the Vice President of Student Affairs.
To the campus community in general, all WKU employees (e.g., part-time, full-time, temporary, intermittent, etc.) must report information they have about alleged or possible sexual misconduct/assault involving student-to-student concerns to the Office of Student Conduct, and concerns involving, but not limited to, employee-to-student, employee-to-employee, and student-to-employee to the Equal Employment Opportunity office (EEO), within 24 hours of receiving such information.
|What prevents someone from reporting a sexual assault?||
Unfortunately, many survivors feel ashamed. Many feel as though they are alone or at fault. They may feel embarrassed or not understand the situation themselves. They sometimes feel blamed or rejected by family or friends. They may be afraid of further harm, especially if the perpetrator is someone they know, or someone on whom they depend. Some rape survivors judge themselves so harshly for a crime that was not their fault, they may believe that others will judge them as well. Face it, society often encourages the survivor to prove their innocence instead of perpetrators being proved guilty.
Many times, survivors feel guilty or blame themselves because they may have known or even liked the perpetrator. Yet in approximately 80 percent of reported sexual assaults, the perpetrator is someone the survivor knows. 70 – 80 percent of all sexual assaults involve alcohol and/or drugs, either on the part of the perpetrator or the survivor, or both. When an individual is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs (including “date rape drugs”), consent is impossible.
|What are some common responses to a sexual assault?||
Everyone copes with traumatic events differently. These ways of coping are influenced by the individual's coping skills prior to the assault, the severity of the assault, and the support system that is available to the survivor. Keep in mind people heal in different ways and at different rates. Some reactions you might see in response to an assault could be:
|What can I do to help a friend who has been assaulted?||
It’s so important to offer support to this person. You may be the first person that they have shared this trauma with. How you respond is very important.