The Red Zone is NOW...
The period of time between the start of school and Thanksgiving break is the "Red Zone," when college students - especially freshmen - have the most vulnerability & highest risk of being sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is NEVER the victim's fault. All Blue Hens help to make our campus safer when you #recognize dangerous situations, #support your friends & any potential victims, and #intervene in a safe way or seek help. Share your bystander intervention experiences on twitter & instagram and tag Student Wellness @UD_UseYourPower. Ask for consent every time in every sexual encounter, and respect your partner's boundaries if they say no. Tell us how you ask using #iaskforconsent!
If you are victimized...
Survivors of all forms of sexual assault and intimate partner violence can experience a wide range of feelings and reactions, including confusion, denial, anger, shock, numbness, fear, self-blame, embarrassment, sadness, and helplessness. It is common for survivors to have:
- feelings of guilt and responsibility;
- concerns about their ability to make good judgments about people;
- difficulty trusting themselves and others;
- feelings of being violated, conned, cheated, and/or manipulated;
- difficulty accepting what happened as rape or abuse.
It is common for survivors of sexual assault or rape to experience Post Traumatic Stress, formerly called "Rape Trauma Syndrome." Seeking supportive crisis care or after-care counseling can be helpful in coping with these initial, intense feelings.
Survivors of intimate partner violence struggle with who to turn to for help because many of their friends don't understand and just want them to leave the abusive partner. You may find it especially helpful to get information and support from an outside resource.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and incest often begin to remember their experience or deal with the emotions associated with their childhood experiences for the first time while in college. This can be a scary and difficult time and can create a great deal of turmoil in the survivors' life, even though the assault(s) happened years before.
No matter what kind of assault you experienced, it is important to know that:
- These feelings and reactions are normal, and quite common.
- IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Sexual Assault is a crime of power and control. Intimate Partner Violence also occurs when one partner tries to control the other. No one can force a perpetrator to commit these crimes. The perpetrator always has other options and choices in the situation. You are not responsible for the perpetrator assaulting you even if you were drinking, on a date with the person, dressed provocatively, or even if you engaged in consentual kissing, foreplay, or sexual acts with the person beforehand. Your consent is required for a mutual, legal sexual interaction; without your consent it is rape. If you are intoxicated, then you are unable to give consent and sex at that point is rape.
- Help is available.
Caring For Yourself / Safety Checklist...Your options in the first 24 hours
If you have been sexually assaulted within the last 72 hours, you have some medical and legal options to consider which are time-limited. There are other medical, legal, and emotional resources that are available to you regardless of when your sexual assault occurred.
Use the black navigation menu buttons at left to learn about more options available to you, or call to speak with an SOS Victim Advocate who can present these options to you, support you, and listen. You are strongly encouraged to read UD Frequently Asked Questions about Sexual Assault.
For UD Students on Study Abroad:
It is recommended that you seek out the UD staff members coordinating your trip for assistance navigating the local resources. The laws and the criminal justice system can be vastly different in other countries from what you may expect in the U.S. You may find it helpful to contact a local victim service agency in that country. The following are some resources to assist you:
U.S. State Department Travel Information Travel advisories, emergency assistance, common concerns for specific destinations around the globe, and many more resources for U.S. travelers.
U.S. State Department Help for Americans Emergency Assistance for American Citizens Abroad
VA Online Listing of Victim Assistance Agencies in countries around the globe where you can seek help if you are sexually assaulted, stalked, harassed.
Office for Victims of Crime Resources for International Victims of Crime.
S.O.S. is still a resource to you if you are a UD student overseas. Call our crisis number at 302-831-2226 for a listening ear or for assistance finding resources where you are in the world. You may seek out our follow-up services when you return to campus.
General Information For Rape/Sexual Assault Survivors:
RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) for Women @ UD
PAVE - Promoting Awareness & Victim Empowerment
The National Center for Victims of Crime -- Violence Against Women (Provides info on Rape/Sexual Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence, Stalking, Cyberstalking, Sexual Harassment, etc. )
To reach the SOS Victim Advocate on duty (24 hrs/day) call 302-831-2226. The person who answers will take a first name and phone number and the advocate will call you back within 10 minutes.
Speaker & Sexual Assault Survivor Debra Puglisi Sharp
123 Memorial Hall
Debbie is a Delaware resident whose story was in the news on a daily basis as it unfolded in April, 1998. Come hear her powerful story including the recording of her 911 call to police that freed her from captivity. Learn more: www.puglisisharp.com. Sponsored by S.O.S. and UD's Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Committee.
Where Do You Stand? - Human Continuum Exercise
123 Memorial Hall
This program, facilitated by members of S.O.S. will help you clarify where you stand regarding a variety of sexual situations and whether they rise to the level of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual abuse. Sponsored by S.O.S. and UD's Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Committee.
Project led by the newly forming Men's Action Network
Stop by Perkins Kiosk on Friday for a chance to win a UD Bookstore gift card! Just spend a few moments sharing your thoughts for a project on masculinity, gender norms, and engaging men in gender-based violence prevention.