Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. (USDOJ)

Student Conduct Policy

Individuals that commit sexual violence are in violation of the following student conduct policy:

  • Sexual Assault: includes (but is not limited to) sexual penetration, oral sex, genital contact, and/or touching of a sexual nature that is perpetrated against the will of the victim by a person or person known or unknown to the victim. This includes engaging in sexual behavior with a person who is unable to consent because of mental impairment (including impairment by intoxication and/or other substances).

Know the Facts

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN):

  • Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
  • One in four women and one in six men will be a victim of sexual assault.
  • One in six women and one in six men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • College-aged women are four times more likely to experience sexual assault.
  • Approximately two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.

Common Questions

Below is a list of answers to common questions individuals who’ve experienced assault may ask. Remember, each person and incident is unique. If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about an assault, you may contact the SU Student Conduct Office at (530) 226-4708.

  • “I didn’t fight back. Does that mean it isn’t assault?”

    It’s a common misconception that all victims of violence will or should fight back to protect themselves from an assault. It is important to remember that the victim should never be held responsible for an act of violence committed against them. It’s never the victims fault. Victims of violence will respond to assaults in different ways. Some people may choose to fight back and others may not.

  • “Is it assault if I’ve had consensual sex with this person in the past?”

    Sexual assault can take place even if you have a pre-existing relationship and/or have had consensual sex with the perpetrator in the past. In fact, most cases of sexual assault are committed by someone known to the victim. If you did not consent to the sexual activity that took place, it is sexual assault.

  • “I don’t remember the assault. Does that mean it isn’t assault?”

    An assault may have taken place even if you are unable to recall all or some of the events. Memory loss can result from excessive alcohol consumption and/or date rape drugs. In such cases, it is helpful to speak with an advocate from “One Safe Place” to discuss what options are available if you wish to pursue prosecution (i.e., complete a forensic exam for potential physical evidence). If you do not wish to purse prosecution at this time, you may still seek support from counselors at the SU Counseling Center.

  • “Is it assault if I was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol during the assault?”

    Possibly. There can be a lot of confusion around alcohol and sexual activity. The key question is: was the sexual activity consensual? If the sexual activity was nonconsensual, it is sexual assault. We know that alcohol is the number one date rape drug. If someone is highly under the influence and/or blacked out to the point they would not be able to consent, it is sexual assault. Find out more information on drug facilitated sexual violence.

  • “I never said ‘no’ during the assault. Does that mean it isn’t assault?”

    Not saying “no” does not mean you’re saying “yes.” Often times, victims may be too afraid to say anything during an assault. If you did not consent to the sexual activity that took place, it is sexual assault.

    Adapted from RAINN’s Was I Raped?

If You’ve been Assaulted

It is not your fault if you experience sexual assault. Below is a list of steps you may consider taking after an assault. Please remember, the road to healing may be a tough one, but you certainly don’t have to travel it alone.

  • Seeking Medical Attention

    If you have been abused or assaulted, you may need medical care. To get medical help, immediately go to the nearest emergency department. If you were sexually assaulted, you should receive information about disease and pregnancy prevention. You can also have evidence collected at an emergency department. Evidence collection should occur as soon as possible.

    To preserve evidence:

    • Do NOT shower, bathe, wash any part of your body, or douche.
    • Do NOT use the bathroom.
    • Do NOT change clothes.
    • Do NOT brush your teeth or gargle.
    • Do NOT comb your hair.

    If you are a student and do not wish to have evidence collection completed, you can seek medical care at the Health Center at the Wellness Center, Suite 208, Owen Center.

  • Reporting Sexual Violence

    You have the right to report sexual assault, domestic/ dating violence, or stalking to the police. To file a criminal complaint, contact Simpson University Campus Safety at (530) 941-7592 or the Redding Police Dept. (RPD) at (530) 225-4200 or call 9-1-1.

    If the perpetrator is affiliated with Simpson University, you should also report the violence to the university.

    • If the perpetrator is an SU student, you should report to the Student Conduct in Student Development or the Title IX office. Student Conduct and/or the Title IX Officer will investigate the alleged violence. Information about this process and possible sanctions are available at the Simpson University website under Title IX or in the student handbook.
    • If the perpetrator is a university employee, volunteer, or vendor, report this to the Title IX office and to the Director of Human Resources.

    You can also report to the university without filing a criminal complaint.

    If reporting to the police seems intimidating, you can request that an advocate accompany you by calling “One Safe Place” at (530) 244-0118.

    Victims are not required to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to the police, the Office of Student Conduct. You can however receive university services regardless of whether or not you report an act of violence. But because the university wants to prevent future sexual violence, you are encouraged to report.

If you or someone you know experiences violence, you’re not alone. Help is available by reviewing our list of Sexual Assault Awareness Resources and Contacts.