We don’t talk about sexual assault as often as we should. As a society, we tolerate sexual harrassment and normalize sexual assault. Being informed is empowering and enables you to be helpful. We can all be a part of the solution.
Go to a safe place and call or be with someone you trust. If you feel unsafe or there is any immediate danger to yourself or others, call the FSU Police Department at (850) 644-1234 if you are on campus or call 911 if you are off-campus.
Consider seeking immediate medical and counseling support. To view a list of resources on campus, click here.
Reporting a Sexual Assault
Deciding whether to report a sexual assault can be difficult and overwhelming. If you experienced a sexual assault and you’re unsure whether to report it, please meet with a Victim Advocate to explore your options and rights as a survivor of sexual assault. To schedule an appointment with a Victim Advocate at FSU, call 850-644-7161, 850-644-2277, or 850-645-0086 during regular business hours. If you need to speak with an advocate after hours, call 850-644-1234 and ask to speak with a Victim Advocate. To learn more about FSU’s Victim Advocate program, visit their website at www.victimadvocate.fsu.edu.
When deciding whether to report a sexual assault, it’s helpful to know where your confidential resources are on campus. The following departments at FSU are confidential:
Counseling & Psychological Services
Victim Advocate Program
University Health Services
Employee Assistance Program
Title IX Office
Title IX requires FSU to provide an educational environment where students feel safe from sexual harassment, discrimination and violence. To learn more about FSU’s Title IX office, visit their website at http://titleix.fsu.edu/.
If you or someone you know has been discriminated against on the basis of sex and you want to make a report, you can do so online or in person. Please note that Title IX staff are not confidential university representatives.
- 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college (Black et al., 2011)
- 1 in 71 men are raped during their lives (Black et al., 2011)
- 85% of assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows (Krebs, Lindquist, Warner, Fisher & Martin, 2007)
- 68% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008-2012)
The responses below were given by FSU students when asked “How will you end a culture of violence?”
- Be there. Believe my friends. Be sensitive and sympathetic.
- Ask. Respect. Don’t expect. Communicate with my partners to establish consent.
- Be proactive. Be accountable for my behaviors and look out for my friends.
- Speak up. Set the standard and lead by examples through my words and actions.
- Educate. Tell my friends how to create a culture of care at FSU.
- Get involved. Join kNOwMORE. Share my passion and knowledge on social media. #kNOwMORE
Bystander Intervention and Sexual Assault Prevention
The Florida State University community recognizes the impact and prevalence of power-based personal violence including sexual violence, interpersonal violence, domestic/relationship violence, stalking and harassment. These issues happen to people regardless of where they live, their sexual orientation, race or socio-economic status. We believe in the power of bystander intervention in combatting sexual violence and rape culture on our college campus.
What is a bystander?
Bystanders are the “individuals who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence…they are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it” (Baynard 2004). Through education adopted from the Green Dot Training at the University of Kentucky’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, Florida State University students and community members will have the knowledge and capability of intervening. The Green Dot strategy capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence through engagement, awareness, education, and skills-practice. Through establishing intolerance of violence and reacting in high-risk situations, there will ultimately be a reduction in violence.
How do I intervene as a bystander?
In order to take action, utilize the 3 Ds: Direct, Distract and Delegate.
Direct: confront all involved and show you are a witness to what is happening.
Examples of direct intervention include: “Are you alright?” “Is that person bothering you?” “Do you want to go home?”.
Distract: create an interpretation that separates target and aggressor.
Examples of distracting as a form of intervention include: “Can you help me with something?” “Hey, I want you to meet someone.”
Delegate: engage allies.
Examples of delegation in intervention include: “Your friend looks drunk, you should check on that person.” “Let’s call FSUPD.”
In order to create a cultural shift, our community will need to engage in new behaviors that will make the violence less sustainable.
Will you use the 3 D’s and be a part of the solution?
Video created by the Women Student Union at FSU.
For more information about Bystander Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention, visit the Green Dot, etc.’s website.
Reducing the Risk
While it is impossible, with 100% certainly, to prevent yourself from experiencing an assault, there are steps you can take to decrease the odds. There are ways to reduce your risks and increase your own safety.
- Avoid intoxication, or the use of recreation drugs. Being incapacitated makes you more vulnerable to exploitation.
- Be aware. Pour your own drinks (of any kind) and hold your own drink all evening.
- Communicate with others about your plans. Let your friends know when to expect you home.
- If you go to parties, go with friends, and leave with friends. Avoid being isolated. Do not leave with someone you don’t know well or feel uneasy about. Trust your instincts.
- On first dates, take precautions such as meeting in public during daylight hours and be prepared with essentials such as your cell phone and cash to get home. Proceed slowly in taking more risks and building trust with new people.
- Communicate your sexual desires and limits. You have the right to change your mind at any time; communicate that clearly, too.
- Avoid walking alone at night. Consider using the campus S.A.F.E. connection for transportation, call a taxi, or call a friend. If you do have to walk alone, walk assertively, stay close to the curb and be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep your residence hall, apartment or home doors locked at night and any time you leave.
- Do not invite people you don’t know well into your room alone. Let an RA, hall director, or campus police officer know if you need help getting an unwanted guest to leave your room.
- If you find yourself being victimized, do what you can to stop the perpetrator: Yell “Fire,” threaten to report, whatever you believe might work. But remember, whether or not you are successful, you are NOT responsible for the perpetrator’s crime.
(From Sexual Assault Resources, Pepperdine Counseling Center.)