Sexual violence means physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, such as under the influence of alcohol, drugs, medications and/or other substances. A number of acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual misconduct and sexual coercion.
If you are not sure, there are places to help you determine if what happened to you is rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment:
- OU Advocates at (405) 615-0013
- OUHSC Police Department at (405) 271-4911
- University's Sexual Misconduct Officer (405) 271-2110
Sexual assault is never your fault. Alcohol is the number one date rape drug. Perpetrators use it to incapacitate their victims. If you are drunk, you are unable to consent to sex.
First you need to determine if your physical safety is at risk or if you need medical attention for injuries. Calling 911 or getting to an ER would be a good first step. If your safety is not at risk and you haven’t sustained serious injuries, you should consider if you want to have a forensic exam. The Norman Rape Crisis Center (RCC) and the YWCA in OKC offer exams. An OU Advocate can accompany you or the RCC & YWCA also have advocates on call 24/7.
Although taking a shower may be the first thing you would like to do, it is important that if you are thinking about a forensic exam, you do not bathe, douche, or wash any involved clothes or bedding. Doing so will wash away evidence of the crime and make it harder to prosecute should you choose to do that.
If you decide not to come forward, please consider seeking out professional counseling. Recovering emotionally from a sexual assault is a process that can be aided by a helping professional who is knowledgeable about sexual assault and can be objective and supportive. Counseling options are listed below.
Yes, you can seek help and not tell your parents/support system. Any medical or counseling care is protected by confidentiality laws. The records of the police and university are not protected in the same way as medical records but both work hard to protect the identity of victims. The university is bound by other federal laws that protect a student’s privacy. The university will not contact your parents/support system about the assault unless you give us permission to do so.
You can make a police report to document what occurred but decide to wait on pressing charges. Filing a report with the police helps to preserve your right to press charges. Obviously, the sooner the police can start an investigation, the more likely they are to gather evidence and make arrests, but the person who has been assaulted should be in control of the process as much as possible.
Students are encouraged to report any sexual misconduct to the Sexual Misconduct Officer (SMO). The SMO takes reports, conducts an investigation into the misconduct and recommends corrective action. The university has an obligation to investigate these reports and take prompt and appropriate action. If a victim does not want to come forward, it will limit the university's ability to take action.
Yes, there are many services available for free such as counseling and forensic exams. The Rape Crisis Center can provide counseling services. County Health Department along with the YWCA-OKC, can provide testing for sexually transmitted diseases and Plan B on a sliding income scale based on your income.
Also, Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation can help with medical expenses, counseling, and other support: http://www.ok.gov/dac/Victims_Services/Victims_Compensation_Program/
There are places that can help. The Student Counseling Services is open to all students who are in need of help or guidance. To make an appointment, please call (405) 271-7336. Number Nyne is an after hours hotline for OU students.
Click here for resources available regarding sexual assault.