Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By: Charlotte Hewkin - UCF Victim Advocate

UCF Victim Services will host a movie night with a discussion panel at the Tower 1 building on April 15th, 2008, from 6 to 9 PM. The movie, “Raw Deal: A Question of Consent,” has received several awards, including an award from the Sundance Film Festival. If you ever had any doubts about consent, this is the movie to see.

UCF Victim Services Mission Statement:
To provide free confidential options, advocacy and education to all members of the UCF community who may be victims or survivors of crime, violence or abuse, on or off the UCF Campus.

Advocates are available 24/7 by calling 407.823.5555. Ask for an advocate and give only a first name and a safe contact number. You will be called back within a few minutes.

Our office is located in the University Tower Building, 12201 Research Parkway, Suite 450, Orlando, 32826. Website:

Getting help after a Sexual Assault:
Talk to someone -a family member, friend, advocate, counselor. Advocates may be contacted immediately after an assault.

Reporting to Law Enforcement: If the person decides to report, the following is a list of suggestions that may help the investigation:

  • Do not attempt to shower, bathe, douche, or clean the affected area(s) where the rape occurred, this will destroy valuable evidence.
  • Seek medical attention. This includes a rape examination (Rape Kit).
  • Regardless if the person changes their decision to prosecute, medical attention is still necessary.
  • A free rape exam is available to all victims of sexual assault even if you don't want to report to the police.
  • Remember, an Advocate is available to provide you with support and options 24/7.

Reducing the Risk for Rape:

  • Know your sexual limits and communicate them firmly and directly. If you say NO, say it like you mean it. Don’t give mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm tone of voice and clear body language. Passive body language CAN be misinterpreted. Don’t assume your partner will automatically know how you feel.
  • Don’t assume that a person wants to have sex just because they drink heavily, dress provocatively, show interest in dating you, or agree to go to your room.
  • Don’t assume that just because a person consents to kissing or other sexual contact they are willing to have sexual intercourse.
  • Don’t assume that just because someone has had sex with you in the past, they are willing to have sex again.
  • If you are raped, it is not your fault. The rapist is entirely and solely to blame. Remember that acquaintance rape is a crime. It is never acceptable to use coercion, threats, or force in sexual situations, no matter what the circumstances.

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