Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention
Rape is a crime of power and control. Forced intercourse is defined as rape and reflects a total disregard for the rights and feelings of others. Rape, sexual harassment and other sexual violations can happen anywhere. Research findings suggest that approximately 25 percent of women and five to 10 percent of men have been raped (Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 20, 1996; Journal of American College Health, Vol. 45, 1997). The research further suggests that the highest number of assaults occur among 18 to 21-year-old women. Given these numbers, college-aged students can be viewed as vulnerable to sexual victimization. Sexual assaults are more likely to be committed by someone the student knows and trusts, rather than by a stranger.
What to do in the event of a sexual assault?
If you are the victim of a sexual assault, go to a safe place and call the University Police Department (extension 3330 if you are calling from an on-campus telephone). If an assault takes place off-campus, the University Police Department can assist you in contacting the San Antonio Police Department. The University Police can also assist you in seeking medical attention and contacting a support person, counselor, University minister, or a representative from The Rape Crisis Center of San Antonio.
- Resist the urge to bath, shower, or douche.
- Do not change, clean/wash or destroy clothing and/or bedding that was used at the time of the assault.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Note: There is a 48-hour time frame in which forensic evidence can be gathered. If you choose to file charges, any evidence collected immediately after the assault will be vital to your defense.
Sexual Assault Prevention Programs
Sexual assault awareness, education and prevention programs are presented to the University community each semester. In particular, the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) class is geared towards female community members. The R.A.D. class is a rape awareness and self-defense class that is realistic and comprehensive. It begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. Classes are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors, three of which are members of the University Police Department. Printed literature concerning sexual assault awareness, education, resources, and victim assistance is also available upon request from the Student Life Office and the University Police Department.
Options Following a Sexual Assault
Victim assistance is available through the numerous departments at St. Mary’s University:
- University Police 210-431-1911
- Student Health Center 210-439-3506
- Counseling through Student Psychological and Testing Services 210-436-3135
- University Ministry 210-436-3213
- Student Life Office 210-436-3714
Academic and Living Accommodations
If requested, the University will make reasonable changes in academic and/or living situations to assist victims of sexual assault. Options may include, but are not limited to, change of residence hall, university phone number or class schedule.