Sam Houston Counseling Center
Box 2059 | Huntsville, TX 77341-2059 |Phone: 936.294.1720 |Fax: 936.294.3794
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual Assault is any unwanted physical contact that is sexual in nature (kissing, fondling, intercourse, etc.) and that occurs against a person’s will and/or without her/his consent.
Any individual who is mentally incapacitated, unconscious, or unaware that the sexual activity is occurring is considered to be unable to give consent.
Force may involve physical violence, the threat of physical violence, coercion, and the intentional impairment of the person’s power to appraise the situation through the administration of any substance.
This definition applies whether the perpetrator is a stranger or an acquaintance.
Use of drugs or alcohol by the accused/perpetrator is not a defense against allegations of sexual assault and does not diminish personal accountability or criminal liability.
Points to Remember
Approximately 20-25% of women will be raped during their college career. (Department of Justice report, 2006).
Myths & Facts
Myth: It could never happen to me.
Fact - Everyone is a potential rape victim: females/males of any age, race, class, religion, occupation, education, or sexual orientation.
Myth: Most rapes occur in a dark alley by a stranger or a crazed individual.
Fact - Over 50% of reported rapes occur in the home and 80% of sexual assaults reported by college women and adult women were perpetrated by close friends or family members.
Myth: Women secretly enjoy or want to be raped.
Fact - No woman, man, or child enjoys or wants to be raped. It is the brutal intrusion on the mind, body, and spirit that can result in lasting trauma.
Myth: Women “ask for it” by their dress and actions.
Fact - Rapists look for victims that they perceive as vulnerable, not those who dress or behave in a particular way. Assuming that women provoke attacks by where they are or the way they dress is victim-blaming. No one asks to be hurt or degraded.
Myth: Women “cry” rape.
Fact - Only 2% of reported rape and related sex offenses are false, the same rate of false reports for other crimes. Although many cases are dropped because of insufficient evidence for convictions, this should not be confused with false reporting.
Myth: Women who are drunk are ready and willing to engage in sexual activity.
Fact - The fact that a woman has been drinking does not imply consent. Alcohol and drugs can render a woman or man incapable of consent.
Common Reactions To Sexual Assault
What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
DO consider seeking immediate medical attention to rule out injury, pregnancy, and/or STDs.
DON’T shower, change clothes, or eat or drink before seeking medical attention. These are important factors in the event you decide to report it.
DO talk with a trusted individual about what happened.
DON’T blame yourself or play the “what if” game.
DON’T feel pressured by anyone else’s point of view on reporting or prosecuting.
DO write down everything you remember as soon as possible.
DON’T be afraid to ask questions of professionals or authorities or let them know if you feel uncomfortable.
DO seek counseling to help you deal with what happened and start the healing process.
What to Do If Someone You Know Has Been Sexually Assaulted
How to Protect Yourself from Sexual Assault
Where To Get Help
SHSU Counseling Center (936) 294-1720
SHSU Student Health Center (936) 294-1805
SHSU University Police Dept. (non-emergency) (936) 294-1794
Huntsville SAAFE House-Hotline (936) 291-3369
Huntsville SAAFE House-Office (936) 291-3529
Montgomery County Women’s Center (936) 441-7273
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault 1-888-91-TAASA
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network 1-800-656-HOPE
Learn more from these sources: