Also see: Campus SaVE Act
Sexual assault is defined as any attempted or actual unwanted sexual behavior. Sexual assault occurs along a continuum of intrusion and violation ranging from unwanted sexual comments to forced sexual intercourse. Sexual intrusions and violations of any degree are serious offenses and compromise the integrity of the College community. All forms of sexual assault are prohibited at Lee College.
Lee College is committed to creating an environment free from threat of sexual assault, while actively responding to the needs of those affected by sexual assault. Consistent with this commitment, Lee College has created a sexual assault education and prevention information Web page, which serves as the primary source for awareness, advocacy and referral. The information is also included with the College’s emergency procedures booklet. Students affected by sexual assault may also seek assistance in seeking and obtaining academic accommodations.
Members of the Lee College community who have been sexually assaulted are strongly encouraged to 1) talk to a Lee College counselor (ext. 6384) and sexual harassment coordinator (Dr. Coffman, ext. 6384, or Steve Evans, ext. 6887), 2) report the assault to Lee College Security and 3) obtain medical assistance.
Survivors are advised to report any assault to Lee College Security as soon as possible after the incident. Thus, evidence, which might otherwise be lost after time has elapsed, can be collected. All reports of sexual assault are confidential. Reporting sexual assault to Lee College Security in no way compels an individual to pursue a specific course of action. However, reporting does enable an individual to be apprised of the medical, emotional, legal and College options when dealing with the sexual assault.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Be aware of your surroundings and think of where you can go, and where you can get help if you need it. People frequently ask, “Where are the dangerous areas?” We tell people to be aware of surroundings wherever they are, not just in “dangerous areas.” What is a dangerous area? Instead of naming places, apply these three criteria of a place that has higher risk.
- Isolation, by location, darkness or both.
- Limited escape routes.
- Limited or no means of communication to summon help.
Higher-risk areas could be anywhere that meets any one or all of those tests.
Lee College Security is available to escort you both to and from your classes. Contact them at 281.425.6888 or at campus extension 6888 to avail yourself of this service.
Enroll in a Self-Defense Class
Lee College offers classes in self defense.
Carry a Whistle or Personal Self-Defense Alarm
These can be helpful to summon help for yourself or someone else in the event of an emergency. If you keep the whistle on your keychain, it can be used as a mental reminder for you to be aware of your surroundings and your safety each time you use your keys.
Safe Nighttime Services
As noted, Lee College Security is available to escort you both to and from your classes. Contact them at 281.425.6888 or at campus extension 6888 to avail yourself of this service.
Rohyphnol is known as the “date rape drug,” and its street name is “roofies.” In recent years there has been information in the media to informing people of the dangers of this drug. It was first developed as an anesthetic. Although manufactured in the US, it is not legal for use, and is exported to Mexico. People are urged to take precautions against this and any other drug that can be added to a beverage. Originally Rohyphnol was odorless and tasteless, and could be added to a drink and ingested without the victim being aware of it. Changes have been made to make the drug visible in a drink, so it can be tasted or detected when you can’t see the color of the drink. Effects are similar to those of alcohol as it can reduce inhibitions, impair judgment and cause the victim to become unconscious. When combined with alcohol the effects can be magnified. Additionally, Rohyphnol can produce amnesia and the victim may not remember what happened while under the influence of the drug.
Use the following tips to help reduce the risk of exposure to this or any other drug:
Do not accept an open container from anyone, and ask that you open any containers yourself.
Maintain positive control of your drink at all times. If you cannot say that it would have been impossible for anyone to place anything in your drink, then throw it away.
If you leave your drink unattended for any length of time, get a new drink.
Do not leave your drink out for anyone else to drink.
If you are not drinking alcohol and feel intoxicated, or if you are drinking alcohol and feel that you are more intoxicated that you should be given how much you’ve consumed, have a trusted friend take you to a medical facility immediately. There are tests to detect the presence of Rohyphnol, but they must be taken within 48 to 72 hours of ingestion of the drug.
The potential for illegal use of Rohyphnol exists, and we need to protect ourselves from it. However, evidence shows that the date rape drug of choice on this campus is alcohol. Approximately 80 percent of the acquaintance assaults reported by students are related to alcohol on the part of the victim, the offender or both.
If You are a Victim of Sexual Assault
- Get to a safe place.
- Do not shower, bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, use the toilet or clean up in any way. You could destroy evidence.
- Do not change or destroy clothing. Your clothes are evidence.
- If it was in your home, do not rearrange and/or clean up anything. You could destroy evidence.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. (Evidence should be collected when you get to the hospital.)
- Contact a friend or family member you trust or call the local rape crisis center hotline.
- Most of all, know this is not your fault.
- Determine whether to report the crime.
- Ask for a female police or security officer if you choose to report.
- Locate an attorney to represent you. (The prosecutor is not your attorney.)
- Sue the rapist for money in civil court.
- Request that someone accompany you in the examination room.
- Be considered a rape victim/survivor regardless of the rapist’s relationship to you.
Getting back to normal can take a long time and you may be wondering if there is anyone who can help. Many survivors have found it helpful to talk to rape crisis counselors. Locally, The Bridge Over Troubled Waters offers a 24-hour confidential hotline (713.473.2801) as well as information on resources and free counseling for our area. You may also call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN, at 1.800.656.HOPE. When calling this number, you will be automatically connected to the closest rape crisis center. Rape crisis centers are on call 24 hours a day.
Finally, feel free to call and request “A Survivor’s Booklet” In English or Spanish from TAASA. Its number is 512.474.7190.
When someone you know or care about has been assaulted, it is normal for you to feel upset and confused. At a time when you may want to help most, you will be dealing with a crisis of your own. You may find it difficult to listen when s/he needs to talk about his or her feelings. You may hope that by not talking about it, the feelings both of you have will go away. You may be tempted to make decisions for the survivor, to be over-protective. You may want to hide the assault from others. You may feel disturbed or confused when the survivor continues to be affected for weeks, months, and even years. Some partners may want more physical intimacy sooner than the survivor does. Others may feel repulsed. Maybe you feel guilty and responsible, believing you could somehow prevent the assault. You may also feel anger at the survivor or at everyone in general.
All of these feelings are understandable following the sexual assault of someone you love. Please know that if these feelings are hidden or expressed in hurtful ways, they can interfere with the resolution of your crisis and that of the survivor.
The survivor may need your support and understanding. You, however, also need support.
Rape is a violent assault, not a sexually-motivated or gratifying act. The rapist’s aim is to dominate, humiliate, control and degrade the victim. Because the same body parts are involved in sexual assault as in making love, many people confuse sex and violence. Some respond to a survivor as if s/he provoked, wanted or enjoyed it.
Many people also believe rape is not traumatic. Not understanding the reality of sexual assault can make the crisis more difficult for both of you. The emotional impact of sexual assault does not disappear, and talking about it can help. Your feelings are normal, and resources are available for you too.