Sexual Assault

Sexual assault in any form is a devastating crime. While the college goes to great lengths to provide for the safety and security of every student and campus community member, it is important to know what to do and what resources are available if you or someone you know becomes the victim of an assault.

Quick Facts

  • Sexual assault includes acts of violence, threats, coercion, manipulation, pressure or tricks.
  • A victim who is unconscious or impaired due to alcohol or drug use/abuse is not able to give consent under North Carolina law.
  • Assailants can be strangers, but about 95% of sexual assaults and rapes committed on college campuses are committed by acquaintances - people the victims know or have seen before.

Laws and Legal Action

In most jurisdictions, the term 'sexual assault' has replaced the term 'rape' in state statutes. 'Sexual assault' is a gender-neutral term and includes more specific types of sexual victimization and various levels of coercion.

Almost any sexual behavior to which a person does not consent, that causes that person to feel uncomfortable, frightened or intimidated is considered sexual assault. Sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, sodomy, lascivious acts, indecent contact, and indecent exposure all are examples of sexual assault charges.

The law generally assumes that a person does not consent to sexual conduct if he or she is forced, threatened, unconscious, drugged, a minor, developmentally disabled, chronically mentally ill, or believes he or she is undergoing a medical procedure.

Examples of Sexual Assault

Some examples of sexual assault include:

  • Someone putting his or her finger, tongue, mouth, penis or an object in or on your vagina, penis or anus when you don't want them to.
  • Someone touching, fondling, kissing or making any unwanted contact with your body.
  • Someone forcing you to perform oral sex or forcing you to receive oral sex.
  • Someone forcing you to masturbate, forcing you to masturbate him or her, or fondling and touching you.
  • Someone forcing you to look at sexually explicit material or forcing you to pose for sexually explicit pictures.
  • A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional giving you an unnecessary internal examination or touching your sexual organs in an unprofessional, unwarranted and inappropriate manner.

What to Do After an Attack

If you become the victim of a sexual assault on campus, your next steps are critically important:

  • Call campus police immediately, at 704-894-2178 or 704-609-0344. 
  • Preserve any physical evidence that may be present for potential use for criminal proceedings.
  • Do not use the bathroom until after a hospital examination. 

Survivor Reaction and Support

Many factors can influence an individual's response to, and recovery from, sexual assault, including: the age and developmental maturity of the survivor; the social support network available to the survivor; the survivor's relationship to the offender; the response to the attack by police, medical personnel, and victim advocates; the response to the attack by the survivor's loved ones; the frequency, severity and duration of the assault(s); the setting of the attack; the level of violence and injury inflicted; the response by the criminal justice system; community attitudes and values; and the meaning attributed to the traumatic event by the sexual assault survivor. Some survivors of sexual assault will find they can recover relatively quickly, while others will feel the lasting effects of their victimization throughout their lifetime.

Effects

Effects of sexual assault may be physical, emotional or psychological, or some combination of all three. Learn more about the effects of sexual assault on a survivor.

Supporting a Friend

No two individuals will react in the same way to an assault. As a friend of a survivor, it may be difficult for you to know how to best be there for your friend. Here are some tips.

Male Survivors

Sexual violence is devastating to all victims, regardless of gender, and certain issues are unique to male survivors. Learn more about support for male survivors.

Support Resources

The following offices on campus offer support for sexual assault victims:

Public Safety and Police 704-894-2178
Officer on Duty Cell Phone 704-609-0344
Counseling Center 704-894-2451
Campus Ministry 704-894-2420
Student Health Center 704-894-2300
Residence Life 704-894-2188

Off-campus assistance also is available:
Rape Crisis Center: 704-375-9900.