Sexual assault can happen to anyone. It impacts women, men, and children. You are not alone. One in six American women, and one in thirty-three American men, are victims/survivors of sexual assault. Similarly, college-aged women are four times more likely to be the victim/survivor of sexual assault, and sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes; more than half are not reported (RAINN: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network).
Most often, the assailant and the victim/survivor know one another. There is a common cultural idea that sexual assault cannot happen to men, and that they are always the ones responsible for the assault. It is estimated that each year, 834,000 men are sexually assaulted by their partners (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998).
Sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, class status, sexual orientation, ability, religion, or physical appearance. Sexual assault is never the victim/survivor’s fault. It is often easier to blame ourselves for our experiences of violence than it is to believe that we live in a world where someone would choose to harm us.
One Kish Hospital Drive
DeKalb, IL 60115
For a list of ongoing help at NIU, please refer to A Guide for Suvivors.
You are likely to have complicated feelings about the assault. There are supports for you both at NIU and in the DeKalb community. We are here to help you. You are not alone. See NIU Victim Advocacy Services and Safe Passage for more information.
NIU Police and Public Safety (815-753-1212) are available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Survivors of rape often conclude that they are somehow to blame, and believe that others will blame them also. These factors can make the impact of rape greater and recovery more difficult. Please know that victims/survivors of sexual assault are never to blame for their victimization. Reactions to sexual assault vary significantly in degree, timing, and impact on routine functioning. Individuals react to a crisis in many different ways. This is especially true of survivors of sexual assault. There are many different reactions, and some people do not react until days, weeks, or months after the assault. However, there are some common reactions and recovery strategies.