Sexual violence is a broader term than sexual assault. The term encompasses sexual homicide, rape, incest, molestation, fondling, stalking, intimate partner violence, and verbal harassment of a sexual nature. Sexual violence includes creating an environment that feels unsafe based on sexual messages or images.
Sexual violence is a sexual act that is completed or attempted against a victim's will or when a victim is unable to consent due to age, illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The act may involve actual or threatened physical force, use of weapons, coercion, intimidation or pressure.
You have the right to survive. As a survivor or patient you have several rights:
- The right to protection from intimidation and harm.
- The right to be informed concerning the criminal justice process.
- The right to reparations.
- The right to preservation of property and employment.
- The right to due process in criminal court proceedings.
- The right to be treated with dignity and compassion.
- The right to counsel.
As a victim of the crime of rape or forcible sodomy, you have certain rights. These rights are as follows:
- The right to request that charges be pressed against your assailant;
- The right to request protection from any harm or threat of harm arising out of your cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts as far as facilities are available and to be provided with information on the level of protection available;
- The right to be informed of financial assistance and other social services available to victims, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services;
- The right to a free forensic medical examination; and
- The right to be informed by the district attorney of other victim's rights available pursuant to Section 142A-2 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
Who can help you:As a victim of crime you have certain rights; a coordinator is available to assist you with those rights: Comanche County District Attorney Victim-Witness Coordinator 315 SW 5th Lawton, OK 73501 (580) 585-4425
24-Hour Safeline : 1-800-522-SAFE (7233) Safeline provides assistance with safety planning, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Domestic Violence Hot Line: (580) 357-2500
Vinelink: This service allows crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day.
Student Wellness Center North Shepler 101 (580) 581-6725
Campus Police South Shepler 108 (581) 581-2911
Equal Opportunity Office Howell Hall 210 (580) 581-6712
Student Development Office North Shepler 314 (580) 581-2209
Common Myths about Sexual Violence:MYTH If a woman doesn't put up a fight, she wasn't actually raped. FACT In most cases, the victim is unable to fight back do to trauma, impairment, fear, or other factors. MYTH Sexual assault and rape are usually "he said/she said" communication problems. FACT There are many ways to say "no," both verbally and nonverbally. Assailants chose to continue despite receiving clear messages that the other person is uncomfortable. They chose to try to "make them relax" rather than backing off. Many perpetrators will testify that the sex was consensual, minimizing the extent to which the survivor was pressures or coerced. MYTH Women can avoid being raped by dressing sensibly, not acting "sexy," not getting drunk, and not going out alone at night. FACT There is no causal link between a woman's clothing and social behavior and crimes of violence. Nothing a person does or wears causes a brutal crime like sexual assault. MYTH Only attractive young women are assaulted. FACT Survivors range in age from infancy to old age, and their appearance is seldom a consideration. Assailants often choose victims who seem most vulnerable to attack: old persons, children, physically or emotionally disabled persons, substance abusers, and street persons. MYTH Many people lie about being raped. FACT Only 2-8% of sexual assault cases are based on false accusation. This percentage of unsubstantiated cases is the same as with many other reported crimes. MYTH Assailants are usually crazed psychopaths or leering men on a dark street corner. FACT Assailants can be charming, convincing, or even someone you know intimately, like a coworker, a friend or a family member. MYTH Men rape because they cannot control their sexual urges. FACT There is no medical evidence to substantiate that men biologically have uncontrollable sexual urges. Rape is an act of violence committed out of desire for power and control. MYTH In most cases, black men attack white women. FACT In most sexual assault cases, the assailant and victim are of the same racial background. MYTH It is impossible for a boyfriend or girlfriend to sexually assault their partner. FACT Regardless of relationship status, if a person does not consent to sexual activity, he or she is being sexually assaulted. MYTH Sexual assault is a crime of passion and lust. FACT Sexual assault is a crime of violence. Assailants seek to dominate, humiliate and punish their victims, and most sexual assaults are planned events. MYTH A person who has really been assaulted will be hysterical. FACT Survivors exhibit a spectrum of emotional responses to assault: calm, hysteria, laughter, anger, apathy, shock. Each survivor copes with the trauma of the assault in a different way. MYTH It is impossible to sexually assault a man. FACT Men fall victim for the same reasons as women: they are overwhelmed by threats or acts of physical and emotional violence. MYTH Men who get an erection or ejaculate during a sexual assault gave consent or enjoyed the assault. FACT Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that can't be controlled and can even result from stress. An erection or ejaculation does not equal consent. MYTH A "real" man can and should always be able to resist an assault. FACT It is common for both men and women to freeze during a sexual assault, and in some cases drugs, alcohol or the presence of a weapon or the threat of other force or injury can prevent someone from fighting their assailant. MYTH Jealousy in a relationship is a sign of love. FACT When a person continually accuses their partner of flirting or cheating, and is suspicious of everyone in their partner's life, it is possessive and controlling behavior, not love. MYTH When someone hits their girlfriend or boyfriend, that person must have provoked the behavior in some way. FACT While anger can be provoked during an argument, abuse is a choice the perpetrator makes to establish control during the argument. It is an intentional act or set of acts designed to force the abused partner to submit to the will of the abuser. MYTH People in abusive relationships stay because they enjoy being abused. FACT People who are abused by their partner do not stay in the relationship because they enjoy maltreatment. They may stay for practical or emotional reasons including love, fear of reprisal, economic factors, social isolation or shame, or to keep a family together. MYTH A relationship is not abusive if there is no physical abuse. FACT Perpetrators of violence maintain control over the victim by using physical, sexual, economic or emotional violence, or threats of violence.