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.
Ten Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence
- Approach gender violence as a MEN’s issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. You can be an empowered bystander who can confront abusive peers.
- If a brother, friend, classmate or teammate is abusing his female partner, or is disrespectful to girls and women in general, don’t look the other way. If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or, if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor or counselor. Don’t remain silent.
- Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don’t be defensive when something you say or do hurts someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertantly perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.
- If you suspect that a person close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask them if you can help.
- If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to others, or have been in the past, seek professional help now.
- Be an ally to those working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus-based women’s centers. Attend a “Take Back the Night” rally or other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters. If you belong to an athletic team, fraternity or another student group, organize a fundraiser for a crisis center or shelter.
- Recognize and speak out against homophobia. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gay men are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism.
- Attend programs, take courses, watch films and read articles and books about multucultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.
- Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase magazines, videos, visit web sites or buy music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading manner. Protest sexism in the media.
- Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degraging or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men’s programs. Lead by example.
(Jackson Katz, Crisis Connection, Inc.)
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.)