Title IX

  • Sexual Assault Information

    Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient, including forced sexual intercourse, fondling, and attempted rape. Worcester State University does not tolerate sexual assault in any form and is committed to educating members of our campus community about issues related to sexual assault, to engaging proactive preventative measures, and to providing ongoing confidential support services for survivors of sexual assault no matter where or when the assault occurred.

    Download the BHE Diversity and Sexual Violence Plan.

  • Know the Facts
    • 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
    • 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a rape or an attempted rape during their university years.
    • More than 60% of rape victims/survivors know their attackers.
    • 7% to 10% of all adult rape victims are males.
    • Most rapists are motivated by hostility, fear of inadequacy, and the need to control.
    • Rapists use sex as a weapon to hurt, humiliate, and intimidate their victims.
    • The FBI estimates that only 1 in 10 rapes are reported to the police.
    What to Do if You’re Assaulted
    • Go to a safe place and tell someone you trust what happened.
    • It’s your choice to report the crime to the police and/or WSU, but remember that action against a rapist can prevent others from becoming a victim. If you would like to report the assault, you can call University Police or your local police department. You can also make a report to the Title IX coordinator or another WSU staff member. Please know that most WSU employees are obligated to report if they know or suspect that a sexual assault has occurred.
    • Don’t shower, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth.
    • Don’t throw away any clothing or objects that might contain evidence. Save every article of clothing worn during the attack without laundering it or altering it and place them into a bag, if available. If you choose to go to the hospital, bring the bag with you.
    • Seek medical attention either at a local hospital or WSU Health Services. Not all injuries are evident, so for your well-being, it is recommended that you receive a medical exam as soon as possible. Medical staff can help assess your needs, including prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy, and emotional counseling.
    • Be a good witness. Even though it may be hard, try to remember details. The sooner you tell, the sooner the attacker can be caught.


    Emotional care:

    Common Reactions after an Assault

    Survivors of sexual assaults may experience some of the following:

    • Shock and/or numbness
    • Helplessness
    • Fear and/or anxiety
    • Guilt, self-blame, and/or shame
    • Difficulty sleeping or eating
    • Academic difficulty and/or difficulty with attention and focus
    • Use of substances to manage painful feelings

    Survivors have a variety of reactions that might surface at different times following the assault—days, weeks, or months later. Counseling can help survivors address these needs at any time.

    How to Help a Friend Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted
    • Listen carefully, without judgment.
    • Do not blame.
    • Offer a safe place to stay.
    • Let the survivor make decisions about next steps. All control has been stripped from the victim during the assault. Allow the victim to make decisions about what steps to take next.
    • Assist in getting the treatment/services they need if they agree.
    • Remain calm. You might feel shock or rage, but expressing these emotions to the victim may cause the victim more trauma.
    • Encourage medical attention and counseling.
    • Refer them to the resources and reporting information available on the SHAPE website.
    Self-Care for Friends and Family of a Survivor
    When someone you care about is assaulted, it is shocking and upsetting for you, too. You may have a range of reactions, including anger, sadness, fear, and helplessness.

    It is important to show the survivor that you care and are there to support them. Seek emotional support for yourself when you can.

    Most of the resources mentioned on the Title IX web pages are available to those supporting survivors as well.