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Sexual Assault Protocol

Recommended Procedures for Helping Students
Who Have Been Sexually Assaulted

SexOffender.com Online Database

Blinn College is committed to providing an educational atmosphere in which students can achieve their goals and maximum potential  When students experience sexual assault, the violation of their sense of safety and trust can seriously interfere with their lives and educational goals.  Survivors often have mixed feelings about the assault and are unsure how to deal with it legally, administratively and emotionally.  If more members of the college community are aware of the consequences of sexual assault and the options available to survivors, they will be in a better position to help survivors seek the help needed to deal with the hurt they have suffered.

The following protocol was developed to be used by Blinn College students or employees who might be called upon to support and/or advise survivors of sexual assault.  The document explains the options available to survivors of sexual assault.

 

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault (rape) is nonconsensual sexual acts in which the perpetrator uses force, manipulation or coercion.  It is an act of aggression, violence and power. The perpetrator can be a stranger, a relative, an acquaintance, or a date. Although rape is usually a crime committed against women, it also happens to men.

 

Sexual misconduct is defined as:

"performing or attempting to perform sexual acts against a person's will, or in circumstances where a person is physically, mentally or legally unable to give consent."

 

What is its prevalence?

FBI statistics indicate that rape is the most underreported crime, with only one of every 10 offenses reported.  In 1994, the Brazos County Rape Crisis Center provided services to 233 victims of sexual assault.   Local law enforcement agencies received 79 reports of sexual assault in that same year.  Seventy-three percent of the reported sexual assaults were committed by friends, acquaintances, or relatives of the survivors.

 

If a sexual assault has just occurred

  • Make sure the student is safe.  Call the police immediately (911) if the rapist might still be in the area.
  • Assist in preserving evidence.  Tell the student NOT to change clothes, shower, douche, comb hair, brush teeth, eat, drink or urinate (unless absolutely necessary). Tell the student not to disturb the crime scene and to take a change of clothes to the hospital.
  • Encourage a medical evaluation. A medical evaluation is needed, regardless if the student plans to press rape charges.  There may be hidden physical injuries of which the student is not aware.
  • Arrange psychological support for the student. Get a friend of the student or a counselor to accompany the student through medical and legal procedures.
  • Encourage legal (criminal and/or civil) charges and/or College disciplinary options. Survivors can decide not to proceed with charges later.

 

What is the effect of sexual assault?

Sexual assault can have far-reaching emotional impact on survivors. Besides feeling hurt, frightened, angry and shamed, survivors can feel betrayed and guilty particularly after being raped by someone they know and trust. In some cases, they do not even acknowledge they have been raped until weeks, or even years after the incident has occurred.

 

Important issues to remember

  1. It is very important that you allow the student to control the process.

  2. It is always the survivor's choice whether or not to report the sexual assault.

  3. Medical evidence should be collected within 48 hours if possible.

  4. If the student is willing to report the sexual assault to the police, it is critical that the police be contacted as quickly as possible so that evidence can be preserved.

  5. The survivor has the option of requesting a concealed identity or pseudonym during the police investigation.

  6. Survivors can choose to stop the legal process at any point.

 

Services available to students who have been assaulted

Assistance by trained professionals during and after the crisis can make a major difference in the rape survivor's emotional adjustment. Getting support or counseling does not obligate someone to report the rape to the police. Free and confidential counseling and other referrals are available through:


Student Counseling Services

979 209-7600

Professional counseling for currently enrolled students.

Brazos County Rape Crisis Center
979 731-1000

24-hour emergency hotline and face-to-face counseling. Advocacy and support throughout.