Sexual Assault Information

Sexual assault is any sexual contact that occurs without consent. Sexual assault is committed by force, threats, manipulation, pressure, and/or violence. In 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Rape is about power and control over another person, it is not about sex.

Anyone can be a victim of a sexual assault, regardless of age, sex, race, or sexual orientation. It can occur anywhere and at any time. It is never the victim’s fault.

More than 80% of victims knew their assailants. Alcohol is involved in 75% of all date rapes.

In the past, students have come to University Health Services weeks or even months after a sexual assault. Regardless of when the sexual assault occurred, medical attention and follow up care is necessary. Please come to the clinic or visit your private health care provider after any sexual assault.


If you are a victim of sexual assault:

  1. Try to stay as calm as possible and get to a safe place.
  2. Don’t brush your teeth, urinate, douche, shower/bathe, or change your clothes. This can destroy physical evidence that is needed.
  3. Call someone you trust to be with you for support and/or a rape crisis center for a victim advocate.
  4. Seek medical attention, regardless of your decision to report the crime. You can do this by going to your local hospital emergency room, University Health Services (256-765-4328/4302), your private health care provider, or the Rape Response Exam Center (256- 767-1100). You may be physically hurt, and not realize the existence and extent of injuries. 
  5. You have the option of having a rape collection kit performed. You can decline consent to any part of the collection kit. If you consent, you can still request that the kit remain in an evidence locker until you make a final decision regarding prosecution.
  6. We encourage you to report the rape. If you are on campus, notify the University Police Department (256-765-4357) as soon as possible. If you are off campus, call 911 or your local police department. Reporting the rape does not mean you have to prosecute your attacker. Prosecution is your decision.
  7. Seek emotional support following a sexual assault. Counseling is available. Please call 256-765-5215 for an appointment with UNA Student Counseling Services. The emotional effects from a sexual assault can vary from person to person and can be immediate or occur later.

What to do if someone you know is raped

  • Listen
  • Believe the survivor
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Encourage medical attention
  • Support their choices, let the survivor make the choices
  • Suggest counseling and other resources
  • Tell them the assault was not their fault
  • Keep all information confidential. They have confided in you because they trust you. Honor that trust.

RAINN - Get Help

Safeplace, Inc.

Serving Northwest Alabama
(256) 767-6210 or Toll Free 1-800-650-6522

Rape Response

(256) 767-1100
on call, 24 hours a day

National Sexual Violence Resource Center