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Sexual Violence

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What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual Violence is any sexual act that is perpetrated against another person’s will. Such acts include nonconsensual sex acts (i.e. rape), attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e. unwanted touching), non-contact abuse (threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment).[i] For more information on Sexual Violence click HERE.

Who is affected by Sexual Violence?

Sexual Violence affects everyone. Sexual Violence is a major issue on most Colleges/Universities campuses in the United States.[ii]

·         Studies estimate 20 to 25% of females will be victims of rape or attempted rape on campus each year.

·         1 in 5 women are raped while attending college.

·         37.4% of female rape victims experienced their first rape between ages 18-24.[iii]

·         6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.

·         Most victims of physically forced or incapacitated sexual assault were assaulted by someone they knew (79% and 88%).[iv]

·         It is estimated that for every 1,000 women attending college or a university, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year.[v]

·         It is estimated that 13% lesbian women, 46% bisexual women, and 1 in 6 women experience rape or another sexual violent act.[vi]

What is sexual assault?

Sexual Assault is any sexual contact without consent. Sexual assault consists of a variety of behaviors to include forcible acts (Forcible Rape, Forcible Sodomy, Sexual Assault with an object, Forcible Fondling) and non-forcible acts (Incest and Statutory Rape). Click HERE concerning Sexual Assault Laws in the State of Alabama.

What is Rape?

Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or by an object. [vii]

What is Stalking?

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. To learn more about stalking click HERE.

What is consent and why is it important?

Any sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. Ensure that you have consent prior to making any sexual contact with another person. Here is what consent means:[viii]

·         Consent can be taken back at any time.

·         Consent is not a “given”-consenting once doesn’t mean consenting forever.

·         Consent is not a “free pass” or saying yes to one act does not mean yes to other acts.

·         It is not consent if you’re afraid of saying no. It is not consent if a person cannot legitimately give consent (i.e. sleeping, intoxicated, or “high”).

·         In a healthy relationship, giving and receiving consent is an ongoing process-always ask first! Communication is important!

·         Be clear and direct with your partner if you don’t want to do something. Be honest and be heard. If your partner does not listen, leave the situation immediately.

For more information on Consent, click HERE.

What do I do if I am sexually assaulted?

Know what happened is NOT your fault and that you are not alone. As you begin the recovery process, there are two points to remember:

You have choices

·There are caring people who can help you


1.       Find a safe location away from the perpetrator.

·         Ask a trusted friend to be with you for support.

·         Go to a campus Blue Light Telephone.

·         Go to a Residential Life Hall Director’s Office.

·         Go to the AAMU Student Health & Counseling Center.

·         Go to the AAMU Department of Public Safety.

·         Go to AAMU Student Health & Wellness Center.

2.       Report the attack to any of the following authorities, including a responsible employee.

·         AAMU Department of Public Safety (256)-372-5555

·         Ms. Cassandra Tarver-Ross, Title IX Coordinator (256)-372-5836

·         Dial 911/Huntsville Police (256) 427-7114 or (256) 427-7009

·         AAMU Student Health & Counseling (256) 372-5601

·         Crisis Services of North Alabama (256) 716-1000 or 1-800-273-TALK

·         AAMU Student Emergency After Hours (256) 425-4554

·         Pick up a AAMU Campus Blue Light Telephone

·         Hunter’s Hotline (256) 297-1707

*If you are concerned about confidentiality, ask the person you want to talk to first about their obligation to disclose information you share.

3.       Preserve all evidence of the attack.

·         Click HERE for more information regarding preservation of evidence.

4.       Seek medical care as soon as possible from a confidential source.

·         Report to Alabama A&M Student Health Center (256) 372-5601.

·         After hours, call (256) 425-4201 or (256) 425-4554 for immediate services.

·         Report to Huntsville Hospital.

5.       Recognize that healing from an attack takes time and understand that others have experienced similar reactions you may experience.

·         Counseling Services are available at Alabama A&M University Health and Counseling.

·         A Counselor can be reached after hours at (256) 425-4554.

Click HERE for possible experiences and or reactions.

What do I do if I witness a Sexual Assault/Misconduct?[ix]

1.       Call AAMU Department of Public Safety (256) 372-5000 or Contact Judicial Affairs (256) 372-5616.

2.       Tell another person. Being with others is ideal when a situation looks potentially dangerous.

3.       Yell for help!

4.       Ask a friend in a questionable situation if he/she wants to leave and make sure that he/she gets to a safe location.

5.       Ask a victim if he/she is OK and provide a listening ear.

6.       Call Crisis Services of North Alabama for support and options.

[i] Basile, K.C., & Saltzman, L.E. (2002). Sexual Violence surveillance: Uniform definitions and recommended data elements version 1.0 [PDF].  Atlanta: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

[ii] Workplace Answers. (2013). Combating Sexual Violence on Campus [PDF]. Retrieved from WorkPlace Answers website:

[iii] Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., …, Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report [PDF].  Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

[iv] Krebs, C.P., Lindquist, C.H., Warner, T.D., Fisher, B.S., & Martin, S.L. (2007). National Research on Sexual Violence: A look to the Future [PDF]. Enola, PA: National Sexual Violence Resource Center, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

[v] Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000). The Sexual Victimization of College Women (NJI Publication No. 182369) [PDF].  Washington, D.C.: U.S Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from

[vi] Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2013).  NISVS: An Overview of 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation [PDF]. Retrieved from

[viii] The National Dating Violence Hotline. (2014, April 28). Re: What is Sexual Coercion [Web log message]. Retrieved from

[ix] University of New Hampshire (n.d.) Bringing in the Bystander: What Can I do? Prevention Innovations. Retrieved from