Dean of Students commits to maintaining and strengthening an educational environment where students are free from sexual violence. If you are a victim of sexual assault or know someone who is, we are here to help.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any form of non-consensual sexual activity, such as:
- Sexual contact obtained with threatened or actual use of physical force or bodily harm
- Sexual acts committed with a person who is unable to give consent (e.g.: someone under 17, someone who is sleeping, intoxicated or unconscious)
- Use of coercion or manipulation to obtain sexual contact
Sexual assault can happen to anyone, no matter their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religion, size, or ability. Sexual assault can occur between friends, classmates, spouses, dating partners, acquaintances, or strangers.
What is Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual misconduct includes a variety of different behaviors ranging from non-consensual sexual activity to unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. Behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Unwelcomed sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual intimidation
- Domestic and dating violence
Sexual Assault Victims
It's Not Your Fault
Sexual assault is never the fault of the person experiencing harm, regardless of circumstance or the relationship with the perpetrator. You are not to blame, even if you:
- Were under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Did not fight back
- Have little or no memory of what happened
- Previously had sex with this individual or someone else
- Said "yes" to a prior sexual act but not to what happened
Consider these options along with your decision and comfort level:
- Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
- Go to a safe place.
- Visit your local emergency room to address issues related to physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases, and/or pregnancy. Physical injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Receive a medical examination within 96 hours of a sexual assault to obtain and preserve valuable physical evidence. Even if you are unsure about making a police report, you can collect the evidence now and decide later.
- To preserve evidence, don't shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, or brush your teeth until you've had a medical exam. Wear the clothes you had on at the time of the assault or put each item into a large paper bag.
- Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
You'll be connected to a RAINN staff member who can direct you to the appropriate local health facility for sexual assault survivors. Service providers may be able to send a trained advocate to accompany you.
- Visit UHCL Health Center in SSCB 1301 during office hours or call 281-283-2626 to obtain info and directions to the nearest emergency room. Their services are confidential.
- Report the crime by telling a medical professional that you wish to do so, or call the police.
- Call UHCL Police 24-hour dispatch at 281-283-2222 if the crime occurred on campus.
Employees, students and visitors to campus with questions and/or complaints regarding discrimination or sexual misconduct (such as sexual violence) under Title IX.
How Friends Can Help
If you are a friend, one of the ways to be most helpful is to listen and convey a sense of belief and non-blame to the person that's been sexually assaulted. Saying things like, "I believe you" or "It's not your fault" can also help. Be mindful of their privacy and comfort and offer support.
Avoid questions like, "Why were you in that person's room?", "Why didn't you stop it earlier?", or "Why didn't you leave earlier?"
Let them know about the university's resources, but remember that it is up to them to use them. UHCL Counseling Services can help you if you are also in need of support.