At UD, sexual assault prevention programs are now offered year-round, but nationally, April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Check out all the UD SAPE events in April, from the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes March, to S.O.S.' new "Changing the Conversation: Story of a Night" program, to SAGE's annual Take Back the Night March & Speak-Out! Come for CAP points, to learn how to help a friend, to advocate for change, to get a free t-shirt, or to Speak Out! And every day, help make UD safer by recognizing dangerous situations, supporting each other, and intervening in a safe way.
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.
Delaware's Annual Crime Victims' Tribute & Candlelight Vigil
Delaware State University, Multi-Purpose Rooms, MLK Student Center, Dover
Speaker: UD Alumni and Survivor, Kristen Baumer, was abducted as a freshman at UD. She will speak about her experience. She is part of the RAPE Outreach Team and has shared her story on The Biography Network's "I Survived" and the I.D. Network's "House of Horrors: Kidnapped." Kristen hopes that she can make a difference in others' lives by sharing her story. Those affected by crime are invited to bring writings, artwork or other meaningful items to be posted on the Memorial Walls which will be on display at the event. See the flyer. Sponsored by Delaware Victims' Rights Task Force. Calll 1-800-Victim1 if you need accommodations or information. See the flyer. Free and open to the public.
Art Party with Opt4
Central Green in front of Gore
Come out for Tie-dyeing, decorating Opt4 shirts, finger paint, puffy paint, glitter glue, bubbles, and mocktails. Sponsored by Opt4.
QUIZZO: Fundraiser for Natasha's Justice Project
Trabant Multi-Purpose Rooms
SAGE is hosting Quizzo to raise money for Natasha’s Justice Project. The organization was created by Natasha Alexenko, a sexual assault survivor, who has made it her life’s work to advocate for the elimination of the rape kit backlog in the United States. Natasha’s story is featured in the HBO Documentary Sex Crimes Unit, which was shown as part of the Women & Gender Studies Department's Film Series in March. Sponsored by Students Acting for Gender Equity (SAGE).
Changing the Conversation: The Story of a Night
It's time to change the conversation around sexual assault. In this program, you will hear Jane's story and be part of transforming societal responses. Learn how you, and all of us, can make a difference in Jane's life and in the lives of other survivors. Start changing the conversation right now! Presented by S.O.S. and sponsored by UD's Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Committee.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
Speaker & Shoes at Trabant Theater
Be on the lookout for your favorite fraternity brothers, male professors and staff as they don four-inch bright red stiletto heels to march around the north green. This will be a fun opportunity for men to educate and inspire the campus community to take action in the prevention of sexual violence, and learn about resources for victims on campus like Sexual Offense Support (S.O.S.). A limited number of men-sized high heel shoes will be provided, so come early to reserve your pair of shoes for this popular march (or feel free to bring your own high heels!). As the saying goes, you cannot truly understand another person's experiences until you have "walked a mile in their shoes." For more information about the national campaign, visit www.walkamileinhershoes.org. Sponsored by Inter-Fraternity Council as part of UD's Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Where Do You Stand? - Human Continuum Exercise
This program 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. Presented by S.O.S. for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and sponsored by UD's Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Committee.
Powerful Partnerships Conference: 20 Years of the Violence Against Women Act and the Path Ahead
The Department of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence are co-hosting this conference which will highlight the power of partnerships in working to end gender violence. The conference will create a unique space for survivors, community activists, advocates, researchers, business leaders, and government officials from across the nation to come together to share findings, best practices, and lessons learned and to foster trust, resilient relationships, and innovate strategies for addressing gender-based violence as we look forward to the future. A variety of workshops, roundtables, panel presentations, and poster sessions integrating research and practice will be offered. Learn more & register today!
Take Back the Night March & Speak-Out
120 Smith Hall (for the speaker, where the march begins, and for Speak-Out after the march)
Guest Speaker Andrea Gibson will kick off this year's Take Back the Night March! Women all over the world have been shattering the silence around sexual assault and violence against women at Take Back the Night Marches for over 30 years. Join your fellow students at the University of Delaware as we "take back the night" and speak out against campus rape and violence. All are welcome to participate! Sponsored by Students Acting for Gender Equality (SAGE). Check back for details. Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Committee.