yor your health
POLICY ON SEXUAL ASSAULT
AND OTHER INFORMATION & RESOURCES
', UNIVERSITY OF
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA POLICY ON
The University of Florida values the health and safety of every
individual on campus and expects its students to treat other persons
with respect and dignity. Any behavior that causes the sexual abuse/
assault of another person will not be tolerated, is a violation of the
university's Code of Student Conduct, and may result in sanctions
ranging from probation to expulsion. Disciplinary action on the part
of the university does not preclude the possibility of criminal charges
against the individual.
The term "sexual assault" as used by the university is synonymous
with "sexual battery," also referred to as rape. It is a violation of state
law, and is defined as the "oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or
union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal
penetration by another with any other object."
Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, gang rape, acquaintance
rape, date rape, marital rape, and stranger rape that occurs both on
and off college campuses.
Sexual assault can occur any time of the day or night; it can occur at
home, in the work place, in social settings, and in public places. Both
men and women have been sexually assaulted by strangers, people
whom they have known and trusted, and people whom they have
In order for the university to deal more effectively with sexual
assaults, it is essential these incidents be reported. Thus, all students
and others are encouraged to report incidents of sexual assault to a
university official, e.g., the Office of Victim Services, the University
Police Department, the Student judicial Affairs Office, the Center for
Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery Education, the Student Mental Health
Clinic, or the Counseling Center.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY
Get to a safe place.
lfyou are in a vulnerable area, it's important thatyou go to a safe
location. For example, go toyour home (with locked doors and
windows), a friend's house, a locked car, or a place where there are
Get medical attention immediately.
The primary purpose of a medical examination following a rape is to
check for physical injury, the presence of sexually transmitted
diseases, or pregnancy as a result of the rape. The secondary
purpose of a medical examination is to aid in the police investigation
and legal proceedings. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.
If you thinkyou may have been drugged, reportyour suspicion to the
police. Ask for a sexual assault nurse examiner to conduct a urine
test for the presence of any sedating drugs.
Don't bathe or douche.
Bathing or douching might be the first thingyou want to do. But
don't-even as much asyou want to. You might literally be washing
away valuable evidence. Wait untilyou have an examination.
It is all right to change clothes. But save whatyou were wearing. Your
clothing could be used as evidence for prosecution. Place each item
of clothing in a separate paper bag for police.
Report the incident to the police.
It is up toyou, but reporting a rape isn't the same thing as prosecut-
ing a rape. Prosecution can be determined later. To contact police,
call 911 (V/TDD), 24-hours a day. A number of university staff
members are willing and able to assist victims in reporting assaults
to the proper authorities.
lfyou are a victim of a sexual assault and decide not to notify the
police, please secure medical attention and contact any of the victim
support resources listed in this guide.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF SOMEONE YOU
KNOW HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
In the aftermath of a sexual assault, the victim may be experiencing fear,
insecurity and frustration and will need care and support. A friend, spouse,
or family member can play an important role by providing reassurance and
support. Allow your friend to reflect upon what has happened and their
feelings, but do not press for details. Let him/her set the pace. Listening is
one of the best thingsyou can do at this time. In short, be a trusted friend.
If your friend has not received medical attention, encourage her/him to
do so. For additional support, call the University Police Department's
crime victim advocate. The medical facility will notify the police; however,
it's up toyour friend to make the decision whether to file a police report.
You may be a valuable resource by seeking out and providing informa-
tion that will assist in understanding options. For example,you can letyour
friend know that reporting the rape and collecting evidence does not
automatically lock her/him into prosecuting the offender. What it does do
is assist the police in identifying the method and possible identity of the
assailant. Because rapists tend to repeat, any information that can be
provided may prevent the sexual assault of someone else.
Making the decision to report a sexual assault, and to undergo the
subsequent processes of evidence collection and possible judicial proceed-
ings, will be difficult foryour friend. Although it's only natural to want to
give advice, avoid trying to control the situation. A sexual assault victim
needs to regain control and must be allowed to make her/his decisions.
Whatever decisions are made, your friend needs to know that she/he will
not be judged, disapproved of, or rejected byyou. The victim suffers a
significant degree of physical and emotional trauma during and immediately
following a rape that can remain for a long time. Being patient, support-
ive and nonjudgemental provides a safe, accepting climate into which
your friend can release painful feelings.
Sometimes friends or family take the sexual assault personally, losing
sight of the real victim. They feel resentment or anger and unleash this
anger on the victim and others in general. Sometimes a sense of frustration
and helplessness is pitted against a powerful urge for revenge. Do not make
the mistake of discounting or ignoringyour emotional responses. It's
important to realize thatyou also are responding to an unwanted crisis. You
are trying to understand what happened and adjust to unfamiliar realities.
Take advantage of support services inyour community that offer counsel-
ing for sexual assault victims and their significant others.
You may be asked to testify in judicial proceedings aboutyour friend's
remarks, actions, and state of mind, especially if you were one of the first
people she/he approached. letting down a few notes may be helpful later.
Ifyou are concerned about the problem of sexual assault and want to
participate in a rape prevention education program or if you have any ideas
to share, contact one of the agencies listed under "Where to Go for Help."
WHERE TO GO FOR HELP
Many sexual assault cases go unreported because the victim fears retaliation or humiliation if word gets around she/he has been the victim of a sex offense.
Victims tend to feel guilty, as though they did something to bring it on themselves, and often keep the incident to themselves or share some of the incident
with a close friend. While this may be helpful in the immediate sense, we urgeyou to talk to a knowledgeable counselor aboutyour reactions to being
The various on- and off-campus services available to all victims of violent acts are designed to assist victims in overcoming the trauma of the attack and
proceeding with their goals and responsibilities at the university. We strongly suggestyou report any instance of sexual assault to a law enforcement agency.
The University Police Department's Special Investigative Unit, 392-1111 (V/TDD), The Gainesville Police Department, 334-2400,and the Alachua
County Sheriffs Office, 955-2500, have staff trained to assist victims. Each agency urges victims to report the crime. Many rapists are repeat offenders and
will continue unless they are apprehended and convicted.
The University of Florida Office of Victim Services provides a civilian support person for anyone who may become a victim of crime while on the univer-
sity campus. You may utilize the services of the Victim Advocate Program even ifyou choose not to report the assault to the law enforcement agency. This
service is confidential. The Advocate ensures the rights of the victim to be informed and treated with fairness. The Advocate also makes referrals and assists
victims with locating other needed services such as counseling support groups or other community assistance. The Advocate is available 24 hours a day and
may be called upon by law enforcement to respond to a crisis. Victims may also consult the Advocate directly by calling 392-5648, weekdays from 8 a.m.
to 5 p.m., or by calling the University Police Department at 392-1111 (V/TDD) after hours.
The Alachua County Office of Victim Services is contacted when the
police or sheriff's office receives a call about a sexual assault. Victims may WHAT VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CAN EXPECT
also call 264-6760 if they do not want to report the crime to a law enforce- FROM THE UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
ment agency. The rape and crime victim Advocate offers support while the
ctm ha a meca eamnatn and is being in teorviewed bys thi e I The University Police Department maintains a policy to ensure sexual assault
victim has a medical examination and is being interviewed by the police. In r
victims are afforded sensitivity and humane consideration. All officers receive
addition, Advocates will accompany victims through legal proceedings and specialized training in the investigation of sex offenses. Topics discussed are
the process of applying for compensation of medical bills and loss of wages Florida law, university philosophy and policy, sensitivity to the needs and
as a result of crimes. They offer individual counseling for victims and their feelings of the victim, support resources, and investigation methods.
families or friends and group counseling for victims of sexual assault. All
services are free and confidential. U Officers will ensure a Victim Advocate is available throughout the process to
address a victim's and significant others' needs.
The Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery Education (CARE), U Officers will treat a victim with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, and under
located the Infirmary, room 245, 392-1161 x4231, is a university-sponsored standing.
Officers will act thoughtfully without prejudging or blaming a victim.
agency for sexual assault victims and their spouses seeking individual or Officers will act thoughtfully without prejudging or blaming a victim
g A victim's request to speak to an officer of the same gender will be
group counseling. CARE is a specialty service with professionals trained in accommodated.
sexual victimization recovery. All records are kept strictly confidential. Officers will meet privately with a victim at the victim's choice of location.
U Officers will make arrangements for medical treatment with respect for a
The University Counseling Center, P301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, has victim's choice of medical facility.
professional counselors and therapists, and offers individual or group U Officers will inform a victim of services available on and off campus.
counseling dealing with any form of sexual exploitation. All services are free U Officers will answer a victim's Questions at any time and will explain the
and confidential. The center has an excellent referral system, shouldyou criminal justice system and process.
thinkyour needs will be better met by a different agency or program. The U Officers will diligently investigate each case thoroughly and consistently and
Student Mental Health Clinic also is available for a wide range of personal, will keep a victim informed on the progress of the case.
SA victim's name and identifying information will be withheld from the public
interpersonal and emotional concerns. The service is located in the Infir- and press in accordance with the Florida Public Records Law.