Sexual violence is defined as oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by or union with the sexual organ of another or the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of another by any other object, without the consent of the victim.
What to Do if You (or Someone You Know) has Been Raped
- Get to a safe place.
- If you are injured, call 911 or 644.1234 (FSU police dispatch) for immediate help.
- Contact a Victim Advocate at 850.644.7161 (24 hours). A confidential advocate can talk to you about your options to help you make an informed decision as to what to do next.
- If the assault occurred within the last 120 hours, you may choose to have evidence collected. This would entail having a SANE exam(rape kit) done. Refuge House, the community-based agency specializing in sexual violence serving the Tallahassee area, has collaborated with TMH to provide the SAFE Center, where exams can be performed outside the confines of the emergency room. The SAFE Center is a more private, calming environment which is especially important after a trauma like sexual assault.
- FSU PD and Tallahassee PD will keep the anonymous kit until you decide you want to move forward with an investigation.
- Until you decide whether or not to have evidence collected, DO NOT shower or brush your teeth, if at all possible DO NOT use the restroom. DO NOT drink or smoke. DO NOT change your clothes, or underwear. If you have removed this clothing, bring it with you to the hospital in a paper bag. This may preserve a lot of evidence.
- If you have already showered multiple times or used the restroom, you are still eligible to have a SANE exam (rape kit).
- If you decide to go to the to the SAFE center for evidence collection, staff will contact law enforcement upon your arrival. It is up to you if you would like to file a police report or to talk to a police officer. If you decide to make a police report, the sooner you report the crime the better. The exam will be paid for by a special state fund set aside for this purpose.
- If you are concerned about STIs (sexually transmitted illness), ask the nurse at the hospital about antibiotics given at the time of the exam.
- If you are concerned about pregnancy ask the nurse about emergency contraception that is available. There are prescription methods available, but those must be taken within a few days.
- If possible, take a trusted friend or relative with you to the hospital to provide additional support.
- If you think you have been drugged, it is imperative that you get tested as soon as possible, as most substances cannot be detected after twelve hours.
- If you choose NOT to report this crime to the police or NOT have evidence collected, but are concerned about STIs or pregnancy, the Wellness Center’s Women’s Clinic program can assist you. Contact them at 644.4567 to make an appointment or contact a Victim Advocate for assistance.
- Remember – being raped is not your fault. It is the fault of the person who raped you.
- Remember – rape is a very traumatic crime with many short-term and long-term adverse emotional and physical effects.
- Remember – to take care of yourself. Seek after care. You deserve understanding support.
- Remember – Victim Advocates at FSU are confidential and can assist you at any time.
You must ask the Question…
- “Do you want to come back to my place?” is not a specific request for sex.
- Lack of saying “no” is not the same as granting consent; silence does not equal consent.
- Anyone can withdraw consent at any time.
- Consent for one sexual act is not blanket consent for all sexual attacks.
Of a Capable person…the person must not be:
- Mentally or physically incapacitated
- Underage (chronologically, emotionally, or intellectually)
- In a prohibited relationship (e.g. incest, adultery, or in a professional relationship such as therapist/client, supervisor/employee, etc.)
With Adequate disclosures…
- Exposure to STIs
- Intention for the relationship
- Marital status
- Attitudes toward contraception and whether/what forms will be used
And Without Coercion.
- Consent is not determined by whether they say “yes” as much as it is by their ability to say “no.” Unless they are as free to say “no” as they are to stay “yes,” consent is not granted. Remember, sex without consent is not sex; it is sexual assault.
- Violence, Threats, or Pressure: Using force or repeatedly asking after hearing “no”
- Blackmail: Threatening to tell friends/family, post personal images on the internet
- False disclosure: Such as married person claiming to be single
- Obligation: “You owe me for taking you out on a date” or “because you are my partner””
Collecting “Evidence” of Sexual Consent
Have you ever thought you had consent because your partner acted as though they wanted to have sex? Here are some examples of perceived “consent”:
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex by the way she kissed me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex by the way she looked at me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex by the way she dressed seductively.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex by the way she danced with me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex by the way she touched me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she drank shots with me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she’s got quite a reputation.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she’s hooked up with me before.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she brought her diaphragm with her.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she came back to my room.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she took off her clothes.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she decided to stay the night.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she never said “NO.”
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she never resisted me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because of how often she wants to be with me.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she wants an exclusive relationship.
- I could tell that she wanted to have sex because she said she loved me.
Despite what seems to be “evidence” of consent, you can’t tell that someone wants to have sex with you unless they tell you that they want to have sex with you.
The Morning After Pill
What is it?
An emergency method of birth control intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse.
How does it works?
The active ingredients in Morning After pills are similar to those in birth control pills, except in higher doses. The pills will both prevent the sperm from reaching the egg and keep the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus or stop eggs from being released to be fertilized, depending on the hormone in the pill.
According to the manufacturer, the Morning After pill is more than 89% effective in preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services states that 7 out of 8 individuals who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant after taking the pill(s).
Who can use it?
It is easier to state who can’t use it. Anyone who is already pregnant, is allergic to any of the ingredients or is having unexplained vaginal bleeding SHOULD NOT TAKE THE PILL. Individuals with breast or genital cancer, and/or a history of stroke or phlebitis SHOULD NOT USE IT.
23% of user experience Nausea, 18% of users experience abdominal pain, 17% tiredness, 17% headaches, 10% dizziness and breast tenderness and 5–6% vomiting or diarrhea.
If pregnancy does occur there might be an increased chance of ectopic pregnancy. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe abdominal pain.
Where can I get the Morning After Pill?
The Morning After Pill is available to women and girls age 18 or older without a prescription at most pharmacies. For girls age 17 and younger, Plan B is available only with a doctor’s prescription. You may also get the pill at the Wellness Center, Planned Parenthood, and the Leon County Health Department. A list of area providers is on the following web site www.not-2-late.com or be calling 1-888-not-2-late.
Substance Related Rape
To Reduce Your Risk of Being Drugged:
- Know your alcohol limits
- Do not leave beverages unattended
- Do not take beverages from someone you don’t know well
- Watch your bartenders carefully when they prepare your drink
If You Think You Have Been Drugged:
If you feel extremely intoxicated after consuming a small amount of alcohol call someone you trust. Together you can decide what you would like to do.
The Wellness Center offers screening for a few known drugs, but you must do this quickly as certain substances only remain in the system for a few hours.
CLICK ON ANY OF THESE DRUGS TO LEARN MORE
Alcohol can be odorless, tasteless and come in many different proofs (or strengths). It is the date rape drug of choice because it is easy to get and easy to openly consume. In the vast majority of rapes experienced by college students, alcohol was the drug used to facilitate the rape.
Effects of the Drug:
- Can be felt within minutes and last for many hours
- Reduced alertness
- Memory loss
- Impaired senses
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired judgment
BURUNDANGA, SCOPOLAMINE light yellow, odorless, tasteless powder
Street Names: Scoop
Effects of the Drug:
- Immediately intoxicating
- Affects the central nervous system
- Victims are seldom aware of their condition
- Produces amnesia
- Feeling out of body, looking down on yourself
- Destroys willpower, makes victims highly susceptible to suggestion
History of Use
Smuggled in to the U.S. from South America, where it is found in a native plant, in gum, chocolate, and soft drinks Originally produced to facilitate robbery in South America by the Cali Cartel. Difficult to manufacture.
GAMMA HYDROXYBUTYRATE, GHB colorless, odorless, liquid.
Street Names: GHB, Georgia Home Boy, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, Easy Lay, Grievous Bodily Harm
Effects of the Drug
- Felt within 10 to 10 minutes of ingestion:
- Memory Loss
- Depressed Respiratory System
- Can last anywhere from 4-12 hours
History of Use in the United States
Marketed as over the counter health food product in Spring 1990.
Unsubstantiated use: to induce sleep to induce euphoria to promote weight loss to promote muscular development Banned by FDA for human use in November 1990 following widespread poisonings. Easy to make at home which leads to questionable quality of drug.
KETAMINE Powder or liquid
Street Names: Special K, Vitamin K, Kit-ka
Effects of the Drug:
- slow onset initial effects last 1 hour
- similar to PCP and LSD
- out of body experience effects lasting 18-24 hours
- impaired senses
- impaired coordination
- impaired judgment
- catatonic states
- reports of suicides from bad trip experiences
Used as an anesthetic for humans and animals, primarily by veterinarians to immobilize cats or monkeys. Synthesis is complicated, not homemade products on the street.
MIDAZOLAM HYDROCHLORIDE Liquid
Street Names: versed
Effects of the Drug:
- onset 1-3 minutes duration 2-6 hours
- respiratory arrest
- blurred vision
- impaired memory
Used for premedication prior to tracheal or nasal intubation to relieve apprehension and impair memory. Acts as a central nervous system depressant.
ROHYPNOL odorless, tasteless pill, dissolves in liquid
Street Names: Rophies, Ruffes, Ropies, Roofies, Ropes, LaRochas, R2’s, Roaches
Effects of the Drug:
- Felt within 30 minutes to an hour of ingestion:
- Reduced alertness
- Muscle weakness
- Double vision
- Anterograde amnesia
- Unconscious state can last anywhere from 4-12 hours
Stalking is defined as willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyber-stalking another person and posing a credible threat to that person. A credible threat is a verbal or non-verbal threat, or a combination of the two, including those delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct which places the target of the threat in reasonable fear for their own safety or the safety of those closely associated with them (Florida Statute 784.048). Stalking is reportable to Title IX office or law enforcement. A report can be filed at report.fsu.edu. A victim advocate can also assist you in filing for a protective injunction.
Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV), often known as relationship violence, can be defined as repeated behaviors such as threats, verbal abuse and physical assaults, involving adults who are in an intimate relationship. IPV typically refers to two adults who are not married, not living together, and have no children in common. This definition applies to all couples of any combination of genders and sexes.
Why Victims Stay
There are a number of reasons why victims stay. It is important to note that victims do not stay in abusive relationships because they enjoy being abused. Rather, they have very real, compelling reasons for trying to make their relationship work.
Generally, victims stay because the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying. Fear of the unknown can be a powerful reason for “staying put.” Also, victims are often threatened with physical harm if they try to leave. It is well documented that victims are at the most risk of injury when they are leaving. They fear for their safety, and the safety of those who help them.
Promises of Reform
The abuser promises that it will never happen again; the victim wants to believe that this is true.
The victim may believe that the abuser is sick and needs their help. The idea of leaving can thus produce feelings of guilt.
Lack of Self-esteem
The victim may come to believe that they somehow deserve the abuse. Lack of self-esteem and the belief that they don’t deserve anything better can be paralyzing for a victim.
Being a single parent is a strenuous experience under the best of conditions, and for most victims, conditions are far from the best. The enormous responsibility of raising children alone can be overwhelming. Often, the abuser may threaten to take the children away from them if the victim leaves or attempts to leave.
Most people enter a relationship for love, and the emotion does not simply disappear in abusive relationships. Most victims want the violence to end, but love their partner and want the relationship.
Signs That a Relationship May Be Abusive
Has your partner ever…
- Ignored your feelings?
- Ridiculed or insulted your gender as a group?
- Ridiculed or insulted our most valued beliefs, your religion, race, heritage, or class?
- Withheld approval, appreciation, or affection as a punishment?
- Continually criticized you, called you names, shouted at you?
- Humiliated you in private or in public?
- Refused to socialize with you?
- Kept you from working, controlled your money, made all decisions?
- Refused to work or share money?
- Took car keys or money away from you?
- Regularly threatened to leave or told you to leave?
- Threatened to hurt you or your family?
- Punished or deprived the children when angry at you?
- Threatened to kidnap the children if you left?
- Abused, tortured, or killed pets to hurt you?
- Harassed you about imagined affairs?
- Manipulated you with lies and contradictions?
- Destroyed furniture, punched holes in walls, broke appliances?
- Wielded a weapon in a threatening way?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may be in an abusive relationship. If you have any questions or would like more information, contact the Victim Advocate Program at 850.644.7161 (24 hours), or stop by Suite 4100 University Center Building A (M-F 8-4).
Assess Your Relationship
True or False (circle your answer)
- [ T F ] Your significant other should be able to have time to themselves.
- [ T F ] Your significant other should be able to go out with their friends.
- [ T F ] Your significant other should always decide where to go on a date.
Multiple Choice (circle your answer/s)
- What would your significant other do if you told him/her you were thinking about ending the relationship?
- Say, “Forget it!” and find another significant other.
- Refuse to listen when you want to talk about your feelings.
- Threaten to hurt themselves or you, if you don’t want to stay with them.
- Ask you if you’d like to talk about it.
- You make plans to go out with your friends. Your significant other:
- Tries to make you jealous by talking about his/her own plans.
- Accuses your friends of trying to break up the two of you.
- Tells you to be safe and have a good time.
- Says “No way. We’re spending the whole evening together. Just you and me.”
- Constantly calls you on your cell checking on you while you are out with friends.
If you answered any questions differently than the answers in the key and would like to discuss it, or if you have any questions and would like more information, please contact the Victim Advocate Program at 850.644.7161 (24 hours), or stop by Suite 4100 University Center Building A (M-F 8-4).
Domestic violence can be defined as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member on another. Domestic violence typically refers to persons who are living together as a family, are married, or have a child in common. (See Florida Statute 741.28 for expanded legal definitions)
Responses and Recovery After Victimization
Common Responses After Victimization
- Startle Reactions
- Health Problems (such as change in appetite, headaches and digestive problems)
- Difficulty with concentration
- Memory disturbance
- Difficulty making decisions
- Difficulty solving problems
- Emotional over sensitivity
- Amnesia of the event
- Feelings of helplessness
Recovery Aids for Victims
Everyone experiences trauma differently. The following are thoughts and suggestions that may help to alleviate the sense of helplessness you may feel and may help to build the necessary foundation to reconstruct your life.
Experiencing victimization may change your life. Relationships with others may be altered. Your perception of life may be changed. The way you feel about yourself may be different. However, change, even that caused by traumatic events, can reveal choices and personal strengths previously unrecognized.
Structure your days so you won’t be prone to depression
- Make a list of things you might want to get done and try to do them one by one.
- Celebrate small successes.
- Allow each accomplishment to give you a sense of mastery as you regain control of your life.
- Do not force yourself to take on more than you can comfortably handle, and do not be afraid to say “no” to others’ demands.
Take care of yourself physically
- Eat proper foods.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get moderate exercise.
- Don’t abuse alcohol, drugs, or food, especially sugar or caffeine.
- Remember that the way you look affects the way you feel, so don’t neglect personal grooming.
Change your surroundings
- Different scenery can alter your way of seeing things.
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Sleep in a different room.
- Drive a new route to the store.
- Travel if you can, even if it is just a short distance.
Be good to yourself
- Give yourself a present — go out for a meal, buy a bottle of scented bath oil or a gadget, toy, movie etc. — that says you care about you.
- Enjoy tranquility.
- Take time to watch a sunset.
- Play music that cheers you, not music that reinforces your low mood.
Combat negative thoughts and feelings
- Watch how you talk to your self.
- Concentrate on what you did right, not wrong.
- Remind yourself that you survived the event, that you are now safe, and that your reactions are not abnormal.
- Don’t watch television programs or movies which may remind you of your trauma.
- Limit the amount of news (which is mostly negative), that you absorb.
- Tears and laughter are excellent stress relievers.
- Allow yourself to cry, but keep your sense of balance about unanswered questions and unresolved heartache.
- Laugh as much as you can. Our brain has its own pharmacy, and laughter releases a positive chemical reaction to restore you naturally. Some hospitals even have “laugh rooms” because doctors are recognizing the healing value of humor.
- Pour out your feelings in a journal or diary if you can’t express yourself verbally.
Maintain a strong support group
- Talking with a supportive and understanding friend can be “good medicine”. If possible, it is better to have a larger base of support.
- Avoid those who get you down by lecturing, blaming, or minimizing your trauma.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help
- Asking for help from people trained to aid in the recovery process is a sign of strength and resourcefulness, not weakness.
- Trained professionals can assist you in working through your thoughts, reviewing your coping strategies, and gaining insights that will facilitate your recovery.
Give yourself time to heal
- Recovering from a victimization can be a lengthy process for some people.
- Resist comparing your rate of recovery with someone else’s.
- There is no set amount of time for recovery.
- Just as you are unique, so is your recovery time.
And please remember that your reactions are not abnormal; what happened to you was abnormal. Have faith in your own ability to decide what will be the best treatment for you.
Recovery Aids for Family Members
Everyone experiences trauma differently, and although there are many ways to help a loved one regain their balance. The following are important tips to consider when giving support to someone who has just been victimized.
- Ensure — Ensure your loved one is not physically injured. If medical help is needed call 911.
- Listen — Allowing the person to talk about the experience will help acknowledge and validate what has happened to them. Don’t ask questions, and encourage the person to tell their story.
- Believe — They may be having their own doubts and fears about what happened and how it happened. Now is the time to believe what they say without adding additional doubt or confusion. Believe what you are hearing and be supportive in a non-judgmental way.
- Believe Again — Trauma can disrupt memory and victims are often reluctant to reveal everything that has happened to them, even to loved ones. It can take time for them to open up or remember the full details of an event. Listen to new details as they are shared without judgment and with your full support.
- — Many victims of crime blame themselves for the victimization. Assure them that it wasn’t their fault and the person responsible is the person who harmed them.
- Options — Assist them in seeking out available resources. Contact a Victim Advocate, search on–line, or contact your local health department or police department for a list of resources.
- Control — Allow your loved one to take control after finding options. Letting them make their own decision to report or not report is very important to recovery.
- Ask — Your loved one may find it difficult to do even the simplest of chores after a victimization. Offer to do grocery shopping, cook a meal, do a load of laundry, or run an errand. Ask what you can do to lend a helping hand.
- Be Patient — Let them heal at their own pace. Everyone has different needs and different coping mechanisms. Offer on–going support, or find other supportive resources.
- Take Care of Yourself — Knowing someone you care about has been harmed can have a traumatic effect on you as well. You may have feelings of anger, helplessness, fear — reach out for your own support with a trusted friend or professional.