What is Sexual Assault
Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual act occurring against or without a person’s UNCOERCED consent—any sexual, physical, verbal, or visual act that forces a person against their will to have unwanted sexual contact or attention.
Can Men Be Victims of Sexual Assault?
Yes! Sexual assault can and does occur to men as well as to women. We encourage all victims of sexual assault, regardless of gender to seek assistance and/or support.
What are the Effects of Sexual Assault
The Joyful Heart Foundation states, "There are many short- and long-term effects of sexual assault and rape that affect the mind, body and spirit". Their website, linked below, provides information on the physical, mental, and emotional effects of sexual assault and rape.
What Should I do First?
If you have been sexually assaulted, we encourage you to consider your safety first. Once you are safe, then move on to other areas of concern. Try not to worry about your physical appearance. You will not be judged by those seeking to assist you. If you can wait, please do not shower. Many important pieces of information (DNA, etc) may be on your person. It is understandable that you may be experiencing feelings of trauma. An advocate from the campus Victim Advocate program or Lifeline's Rape Crisis Center can assist you in developing a plan of action and in accessing available resources.
Is it too late to seek help?
In terms of forensics, there may be a small window of time in which DNA and other medical evidence can be collected. However if you have been sexually assaulted, regardless of when the assault occurred, it is not too late to seek help. Medical assistance, legal assistance, and (in particular) emotional support can be beneficial to you well after an assault occurs. Again remember, even days or week after an assault, your safety is still very important; there are campus resources are available to assist in this regard.
What is the University's stance on Sexual Assault?
As per the USA Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy, the "University of South Alabama is committed to an environment in which students, faculty, staff and guests are free from sexual harassment, including sexual violence/sexual assault."
The University is dedicated to helping all victims of sexual assault in the most supportive and appropriate manner possible. The following link provides further information regarding the University's policies in reference to sexual assault and compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Where Do I go for Help?
The following list provides contact information for campus and community resources available to any University student who has experienced a sexual assault. The assault does not have to occur on campus to seek assistance from these services. Additionally, you may seek assistance from one or more of these services; you do not have to seek assistance in any particular order.
- (251) 460-7151 or (251) 460-6312
- Trained advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide emotional support, information, and referrals on services available following a sexual assault (medical, legal, housing, academic, etc)
- (251) 415-1620
- Provides follow-up care for sexual assault victims and confidential testing for STDs. Children's and Women's Hospital is able to collect evidence, even if the survivor is not sure about pressing charges. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE nurses) are available 24 hours a day.
- (251) 460-7151
- Call (251) 460-6312 to file a report with the USA Police; to file a disciplinary case through the University, call the Dean of Students at 460-6172
- (251) 460-7051, Alpha Hall East- Rm. 326
- Confidential, no-cost counseling by professionals who are trained to assist students with issues including sexual assault
- (251) 473-7273 or 1-800-718-7273
- Services are available 24 hours a day
- (251) 460-6185
- If the student is a resident, the student’s RA or CD can assist in making sure the student has a safe place to go, assist with housing related needs, and help with referrals to other services
- (251) 460-6172
Campus Ministers c/o Dean of Student Services office
- (251) 460-6172
- (800) 541-9388
- (251) 473-7273