Sexual Assault

LSSU promotes an environment to minimize sexual assault. The University recognizes the problems of sexual assault and has developed programs and information to educate the students, faculty and staff of sexual assault. The University provides care and assistance to victims of sexual assault and encourages all who feel they have been sexually assaulted to contact Campus Security, the Health CARE Center and the Counseling Center for help and assistance.

The Counseling Center, resident assistants, Health CARE Center, Student Services, Office of Human Resources and Campus Security all play a role in providing the campus community with information on sexual assault awareness and help. Programs, brochures, counseling and medical assistance are provided to the campus community.

If a sexual assault occurs, the victim will be given the opportunity for medical help, counseling and proper security. The case is turned over to the local police, director of Student and Residential Life, the Counseling Center and the Health CARE Center. Any additional assistance available will be given by the University to help the victims of sexual assault.

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Sexual Assault

Although it may be impossible to prevent sexual assault, there are certain skills you can learn to reduce your chances of being a victim. Knowing what to expect and how to react are your most important tools for avoiding sexual assault.

  • Look assertive, confident and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Trust your intuition. If a particular situation makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, choose an alternative. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Keep keys accessible.
  • Turn around and confront someone you think is following The surprise of a hostile look may deter some assailants.
  • In attempted sexual assaults, approximately 50 percent of the victims escape if they yell, and up to 85 percent escape if they physically resist quickly and vigorously.
  • Know the vulnerable targets of the assailant: eyes, nose, throat, stomach, kneecaps and groin.

In date rape situations:

  • Be aware that date rape exists and is a danger to anyone who dates.
  • Arrange to meet your date somewhere rather than relying them to pick you up. If you don’t have a car, at least carry money to call someone for a ride home or to pay for a cab or bus ride home. This gives you the option to leave whenever you want.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when on a date.
  • Be honest with your date; communicate what you want honestly and respectfully.
  • Be aware of what is taking place around you.
  • Trust your instincts; if you are being pressured into unwanted sex, stand up for yourself and be assertive.
  • Assertively push away anyone who tries to be more sexually aggressive than you are comfortable with.
  • Leave a party when many of the participants appear drunk.
  • Don’t accept a ride home from someone you have just met.
  • Refuse to go to an individual’s room/house “just to talk.”

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • Seek help. Contact friends, family or others that can offer support.
  • Retain the evidence.
    Do not shower.
    Do not change clothes.
    Do not alter any physical evidence if at all possible.
  • Go to the hospital. Get medical attention immediately. You should be evaluated for injury and sexually transmitted diseases. You do not have to report the rape at this time; however, the medical staff can collect evidence in case you decide to press charges later. Take an extra set of clothing for after the exam. Your clothing could contain evidence.
  • Call the police to report the assault. The choice to notify campus and local law enforcement is yours. Lake Superior State University encourages you to do so and will assist you in any way possible in reporting the offense to the proper authorities. The University will further assist the victim by changing academic and residence hall situations if the victim so requests and the changes are reasonably available.

Message to Potential Perpetrators of Sexual Assault

  • It is never acceptable to force anyone, physically or otherwise, into doing something they don’t want to do.
  • Sexual assault is a crime of violence. It is motivated by a desire to control and dominate, and not by sex. It is illegal.
  • If your date is giving you a double message, clarify what they mean by asking them. Encourage clear and open communication to determine what you both want. If your date/partner is unsure about having sex or is saying “NO,” respect their wishes and back off.
  • Do not assume that you know what your date/partner wants. Talk to them to find out. They may be interested in sexual contact other than intercourse. You must make a decision based on what both of you want.
  • Do not let your desires control your actions. Your desire may be beyond your control, but your actions are not. Forced sex is never justified.
  • Do not misinterpret a refusal to have sex as a personal rejection.
  • Nobody deserves to be raped, regardless of how they behave. No one deserves to have their body used in ways they do not want.
  • “No” always means no. If you do not accept this, you are committing sexual assault.
  • Taking sexual advantage of someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is rape.
  • Even if you are drunk or under the influence of drugs, you are still responsible for your actions.