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Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a general term that covers a broad range of inappropriate and/or unlawful conduct, including rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. As defined under California law, rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse that involves the use or threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threat of future retaliation and duress. Sexual battery includes the nonconsensual touching of a person’s intimate parts, or the clothing covering the immediate area of those parts, or forcing a person to touch another’s intimate parts.

These behaviors are a violation of our Sexual Harassment, Stalking and Sexual Violence policy at Azusa Pacific University and a violation of California law.

Understanding Myths and Facts About Sexual Assault

Society perpetuates a number of myths that deny the violent, hostile, and demeaning nature of these crimes and often shifts the blame from the abuser to the victim.

Myth: Sexual assault is caused by miscommunication or uncontrollable sexual desire.

Fact: Sexual assault is about the need for power and control. Humans can control how they choose to act on or express sexual urges.

Myth: Sexual assault happens if people “ask for it” by provocative clothes or behavior.

Fact: Sexual assault is not about appearance or acts. Such victim-blaming is harmful and ignores the perpetrator’s actions and choices.

Myth: When someone says “no” to sex, they really mean “maybe” or “yes”.

Fact: When someone says “no,” they mean NO. Not saying anything also means no. Any response besides “yes” means “no.” Sexual intercourse without consent is rape.

Myth: Only women can be sexually assaulted

Fact: Any person of any gender identity can be a victim. Women and transgender people are involved more frequently; however, men can be and are sexually assaulted.

Myth: Most sexual assaults are committed by strangers

Fact: Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

Myth: Spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and partners cannot sexually assault each other.

Fact: Spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and partners can and do sexually assault each other. Being in a relationship or marriage does not give either partner the right to sexual activity of any kind without mutual, positive, and ongoing consent.

When Assault Involves Alcohol and Drugs

Whether someone was sexually assaulted after voluntarily or unknowingly drinking or doing drugs, the responsibility still lies with the perpetrator and the assault is not the victim’s fault. Azusa Pacific and the police are more concerned about the assault than whether or not the victim was drinking.

See statement related to limited immunity for complainant.

What to Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please know that assistance is available. Azusa Pacific encourages all community members to seek help and report incidents of sexual assault.

Get Help

  • Help is available from many resources on and off campus. Learn about available resources and what to do if someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault in the past 72 hours.
  • Consider seeking medical care as needed, even if your injuries look like they have healed. You might have internal injuries that can only be assessed by a medical professional.
  • Talk with a counselor who is trained to assist you with the emotional impact of relationship violence. You can contact the University Counseling Center at (626) 815-2109.
  • To assist you in accessing resources and understanding reporting options, contact the Title IX Coordinator or any of the Title IX Deputy Coordinators.
  • You have a right to stay in university. The Title IX Coordinator has resources to help you get through tough semesters, or options if you are considering taking a break from school.

Reporting Sexual Assault

  • Azusa Pacific encourages you to contact the police if you have experienced any act of sexual assault. If the act occurred on campus, contact the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-5000. If the act occurred off campus, contact the police department in the locality where the act occurred.
  • If you are or have been a victim sexual assault by a student, consider making a report to the Title IX Coordinator at (626) 815-2067. Sexual assault violates the Sexual Harassment, Stalking and Sexual Violence Policy. Learn more about the Title IX investigation process and your rights and responsibilities in that process.
  • If you are, or have been, a victim of sexual assault by a professor, staff person, or other employee of the university, consider making a report to the Title IX Coordinator at (626) 815-2067 or to Human Resources at (626) 815-4527.