What If I Was Sexually Harassed on ASU’s Campus?
Sexual harassment and assault are horrible experiences for victims. Due to social stigma, many who experience these acts feel pressured to keep the incidents private and do not seek help. A victim of sexual harassment may fear that others won’t believe that the incident occurred or that the harasser may try to retaliate.
Though college campuses are meant to be safe locations, this is not always the case. In 2016, a study by the US Department of Justice indicated that at least one out of every four women on college campuses will face some form of sexual assault before graduation. The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that about 70% of victims of sexual assault do not report their incidents to the police.
Understanding Sexual Harassment and Assault
While sexual harassment and assault are unfortunately common, many people do not understand what constitutes harassment in these categories. Some acts that the public accepts as normal are, in fact, forms of harassment.
Sexual harassment includes any activity that involves unwanted sexual advancements and comments, including acts such as cat calling, making inappropriate comments or jokes, or repeatedly asking another party for sexual favors after prior refusals.
Sexual assault is one type of sexual violence, including any form of forced or unwanted sexual activity. It includes rape, as well as unwanted touching and fondling. An act is forced if the perpetrator uses physical or psychological means to make the other party comply to unwanted sexual demands.
Facing Sexual Harassment on ASU Campus
Through Title IX, all schools that receive some form of funding must comply with the Title’s requirements for handling sexual harassment. Arizona State University is one of those campuses, and as such provides resources for all students, faculty, and employees on campus. You can learn more about ASU’s exact policies and resources here.
Students who have suffered sexual harassment on campus should report such activity to a member of the university staff. Under Title IX, all university and faculty employees must provide safe counsel to any student and take appropriate action in cases of harassment or assault. This includes all teachers, counselors, and any other individual contracted by ASU.
If you have faced sexual assault, immediately after the incident you should:
- Move to a safe place. After the incident, you should do your best to move to a location where you will not face further harm. This can include reaching out to a friend or relative or taking advantage of ASU’s counseling services.
- Contact the authorities. If you have experienced assault, you should contact the police as soon as possible.
- Get medical attention. Victims of sexual assault should receive medical care as soon as possible. Medical professionals can treat any injuries after an assault and collect vital evidence for your case. They can also provide means of emergency compensation for those at risk and provide resources for STI testing.
- Seek counseling. Sexual assault and harassment are incredibly stressful events to go through. Counseling can help victims move forward and start to work their way back to their usual lives. ASU provides counseling services to its students.
- File a civil protection order (CPO). A CPO is a restraining order. If a court puts such an order forward, your assailant will not be able to contact you or come near you. This prevents future incidents and helps victims with the recovery process. A Phoenix sexual assault attorney can help you seek compensation.
Sexual harassment and assault are unfortunate events that are always the perpetrators’ fault. While ASU and universities across the country are taking steps to reduce sexual harassment and assault on campuses, the fact is that it can still happen. Students should know that they have resources available to them when such incidents occur. By standing up to sexual harassment and assault, we can reduce the risk for students.
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