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Sexual Assault

Rape and Sexual Assault as well as other forms of Relationship Violence are significant problems on college campuses across the nation, where most victims are acquainted with their assailants.

At Penn State approximately 100 students seek assistance for sexual assaults each year. Most of these students know the person who attacked them. Alcohol was involved in at least 70% of the situations.

Most of the victims are women but every year approximately 1% of those who are sexually assaulted are male.

The effects of rape on these student victims can be devastating, creating emotional, trauma-related difficulties and consequently, disrupting or ending their academic careers. Many students may experience short term difficulties with concentration, high levels of anxiety or depression, and fears of navigating on campus. During an acute period, this may impact their ability to hand in work or sit for exams.

In your role as a faculty or staff person interacting with students you can play a valuable role in helping students identify the range of services they may need or want.

Although counseling is often the most appropriate initial referral, it's helpful for you to be aware that students experiencing rape or sexual assaults may require more or different services as well.

Some students may be more concerned about interacting with the police, legal or discipline systems in order to feel physically safe. Other students might be concerned about securing a medical evaluation and treatment for possible pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.

For more details on how to Help Sexual Assault victims, click here.


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