What is Sexual Assault?
Any forcible sexual activity that occurs without the victim's consent. Sexual assault includes the act of rape (oral, anal or vaginal intercourse without consent) or forced penetration by a foreign object (including a finger). It also includes non-penetrating acts such as touching an unwilling person's sexual parts (for example, breast, buttocks, genitalia), naked or through clothing.
Sexual Assault can also entail forcing an unwilling person to touch another person's sexual parts. Force includes the use of physical aggression, threats of physical aggression or sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent (for example, unconscious, incapacitated, asleep, etc.).
Sexual Assault can also be non-forceful coercion can also be used. Examples of this may be threatening to reveal secrets, to tell others the victim and perpetrator had sexual intercourse, to fire an employee or fail a student or threatening the victim's friends or family members.
How prevalent is Sexual Assault?
- Every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted.
- 60% of sexual assaults go unreported.
- 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.
- 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
Who commits Sexual Assault?
Sexual assaults are committed by strangers AND people the victim knows. In fact, most rapes and sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows: friends, acquaintances, dates, romantic partners, spouses or domestic partners.
Who are victims of Sexual Assault?
Although people often think of rape as something that only happens to women, this isn't true. Both men and women are raped or sexually assaulted, as are people of every ethnicity, age, culture, religion, economic background and sexual orientation.
Even if I haven’t been seriously hurt physically, could I still have been Sexually Assaulted?
Yes. ANY sexual contact forced upon you by someone against your will is illegal, against the Binghamton University Student Code of Conduct (which applies to students) and the Binghamton University Policy (which applies to faculty/staff). It’s illegal, even if you have been sexual with that person in the past or are currently being sexual, however you don’t wish to go past certain limits.
- A stranger grabs your breast at a party or in a bar
- A date insists you have sex even after you say you don’t want to
- Your romantic partner of four years forces you to have sex
- A person gets you drunk or slips a drug into your drink to get you to have sex with him/her
What can I do if I've been Sexually Assaulted?
If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, or if think you have been but aren’t sure, it’s important to talk to someone.
You may choose to:
- Speak to a counselor at the University Counseling Center.
- Receive advocacy and support by contacting the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator and/or Crime Victims Assistance Center.
- For additional information and steps to recovery visit our Support is Available webpage.
How long do I have to collect evidence after a Sexual Assault?
The time frame for evidence collection in New York is 96 hours. If this time has passed, it's still important to report the incident because your safety or another student's safety may be in jeopardy and you may need medical treatment.
How long do I have to report a Sexual Assault?
The time frame to report a sexual assault in the university does not have a limitation however it becomes increasingly difficult to investigate if the perpetrator is no longer a student at BU. Local Police departments generally have a statute of ten years but have been known to accept cases beyond this limit.
How do victims typically respond to a Sexual Assault?
It is important to remember that there is no right way for a survivor to feel. Those who have been sexually assaulted may exhibit a wide range of emotional responses: calm, apathetic, confused, shocked, angry, guilty or ashamed. Each person reacts differently and how the community responds to an individual's crisis can significantly impact the individual's ability to recover from the event.
Consider visiting our page, if you are Concerned for a Friend?
For additional contacts and support systems visit our Resources page.