What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is "actual, attempted or threatened sexual contact with another person without that person's consent. Sexual assault often is a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota state law, as well as under the Student Conduct Code and employee discipline procedures."
What is consent?
"Consent is informed, freely and actively given, and mutually understood. If physical force, coercion, intimidation, and/or threats are used, there is no consent. If the victim/survivor is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the victim/survivor cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation, and the condition was or would be known to a reasonable person, there is no consent. This includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious."
Rape is sexual intercourse without consent. If you have experienced sexual assault you may be feeling hurt, angry, sad or confused. You may be experiencing difficulty sleeping, nightmares or an inability to concentrate. You may also find it difficult to trust people or to go about your regular daily routine. These responses - and many others - are a normal reaction to a traumatic event.
Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. The blames lies with the person who chose to hurt you.
What do I do now?
Aurora Center advocates offer support and advocacy to students, staff and faculty of the University of Minnesota who are victims of sexual assault. Our services are free and confidential.
If you have been sexually assaulted, view our emergency page for possible next steps.
Where can I learn more?
More information about the dynamics of and common responses to sexual assault is available in our sexual assault information packet. Additional information is provided in our publications or view the University of Minnesota's Adminstrative policy website on Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence.
Stage 1: The Initial Shock or Acute Stage
Stage 2: The Denial or Pseudo-Adjustment Stage
Stage 3: Reactivation or Decompensation Stage (“Life falls apart”)
Stage 4: The Anger Stage
Stage 5: The Integration Stage
**Remember that sexual assault happen in all communities. Male survivors, survivors of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered survivors all experience similar reactions to those described above. However, they are also likely struggling with the additional burdens of stereotypes, racism, homophobia and other oppressions, often leaving them feeling even more isolated, confused, ashamed, frightened, and less likely to seek support.**
The Sexual Assault Response Protocol details the many ways the University of Minnesota, TC is supportive of victims/survivors of sexual violence who come forward to ask for help and/or to seek consequences for the person who hurt them. Our campus response to a victim/survivor is focused on support for the individual and concern for the safety of the public. The University of Minnesota offers a confidential place for victims/survivors to receive support and advocacy because research and experience tell us that while many victims/survivors wish to keep their assault a private matter, they need the help of professionals to fully recover. This protocol makes clear the professional and thoughtful response of many units who may offer help.
"Dear Saturday Night,
I wish that you didn't have to exist...It’s been three years today that I was sexually assaulted. I always wonder if I screamed loud enough, if I protested as much as I could have... While that will remain unknown, you have given me the chance to say, loudly and unabashedly—STOP. I will no longer be a victim..." To Read more visit "Saturday Night: Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Duke"