Sexual Assault Awareness 

Sexual assault is a topic that must be taken seriously by the entire Wesleyan community. Wesleyan strives to be a community built upon mutual trust for its constituent members: students, faculty, staff and those visiting under temporary contract.  Prevention of these incidents requires a commitment from all members of the community.  Increased awareness on the part of each member of the Wesleyan community will result in a safer campus for all.

Statistics show that one in five women is sexually assaulted before graduating from college (US Dept of Justice "The Campus Sexual Assault Study" 2007).  Most often it is by someone she knows.  Men are not immune – it is estimated that 10% of all sexual assaults are committed against men.

Statistically, acquaintance sexual assault on campuses most often involves first-year students and often in the first 8-12 weeks they are on campus. Acquaintance sexual assault, like stranger sexual assault, may include various degrees of force, ranging from emotional coercion and incapacitation to physical restraint, threat of violence, or the use of a weapon.

While the responsibility for any sexual misconduct lies with the perpetrator, there are many actions a person can take to reduce their risk for becoming a victim. 

  • Set your own sexual boundaries and communicate them clearly to a potential sexual partner before becoming intimate.  Be alert to situations that could be misinterpreted.

  • Notice your fears and act on them – our instincts are usually right.

  • Look for signs of a lack of respect.  If someone does not respect your personal space or your wishes, it is likely they won’t respect you in a sexual situation either.

  • Be especially cautious in a new environment with unfamiliar people; this applies whether you are on campus, off campus or when traveling.

  • Avoid walking in isolated areas when alone.  Acquaintances and strangers both could use an isolated area to their advantage, whether it is indoors or outdoors.  Strive to travel in well-lit areas with others.

  • Attend social gatherings with friends and leave with them- go out together, come home together. Make a plan for the evening and stick to it in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

  • Never leave a party or gathering with someone you don’t know well or accept a ride from a stranger.

  • Select a public place when meeting someone new for the first time. Have a friend with you or drive yourself and prearrange a way to leave the situation if your instincts tell you to do so.  This is particularly true when the person was met via the Internet. 

  • Watch your alcohol and drug use.  Studies of rape indicate that up to three-fourths of all rapists and victims were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time.  For the same reasons it is important to remain sober to control a car, it is equally important to stay sober in order to maintain control of your body.

  • Take a Safe Approach to Managing Aggressive (SAM) or Empower the Girls class through Public Safety.

At times, a person may find themselves in a risky situation they could not anticipate. Anyone who feels uncomfortable with, or threatened by, another person’s behavior should trust that instinctive reaction and take the following steps:

  • Keep the door open or invite another person in.

  • Speak firmly and look directly at the other person when you refuse any activity. Say "NO” firmly and repeatedly. Tell the offender to stop or leave.  A reasonable person will see your rights and listen to a clear “no” message, even if they find it frustrating. 

  • Shout, scream, or use a whistle if they do not listen. Whistles are available free from Public Safety

  • Use self-defense techniques, if appropriate. Some situations provide an opportunity to fight back physically, others may not.

  • Try to get out of the situation in any way possible.

In addition, Public Safety encourages you to take the following precautions on and around campus:

  • Use The RIDE,  campus shuttle service, after dark.

  • Faculty and staff members working late should request an escort by Public Safety to their vehicles.

  • Walk with friends. There really is safety in numbers.

  • Use all of the security hardware that is provided in your residence hall, house, or office.

  • Be aware of where the emergency blue light phones are located around campus and use them in an emergency.

  • Keep your exterior doors locked at all times.

  • Walk only in well-lit pathways and stay alert to any sign of suspicious circumstances.

  • Report the sound of a whistle being blown to Public Safety immediately.

  • Report all incidents of harassment, assault, or other crimes to Public Safety.

  • Report suspicious people or incidents to Public Safety by calling 685-2345 or on campus x2345.  For emergencies you can call 860-685-3333 or on campus x3333.

  • Faculty and staff members working at odd hours in their offices should inform Public Safety that they are occupying the building and can request than an officer stop by to make sure the exterior of the building is secure.

The following links and phone numbers are provided for further information:

www.wesleyan.edu/sexualassault

www.wesleyan.edu/studentaffairs/studenthandbook          2017-2018 Student Handbook contains information on the Sexual Misconduct policy on pgs. 21-30

www.womenfamilies.org

Women and Families Middletown Chapter- 860-344-1474

Sexual Assault Crisis Services 24 Hour Hotline  888-999-5545