Report a Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Defined

Often people do not understand what sexual assault is and are confused if an incident might constitute criminal sexual assault. We provide the following explanations to offer some clarity:

  • Technical terms can be very confusing, so we refer to this video for a common-sense approach to understanding consent.
  • Sexual assault is the most intrusive level of a sexual act. Please refer to the below chart for an explanation.
  • Sexual assault is defined legally by the Illinois General Assembly under the Criminal Sexual Assault statute 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20
  • If you are researching sexual assault statistics at NIU, the Clery report defines sexual assault based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program; 42 U.S. Code Section 13925 (a)(29).

Criminal Sexual Assault

Criminal Sexual Abuse

Requirements Sexual penetration and force or threat of force or lack of consent or lack of ability to consent Sexual conduct and force or threat or force or lack of consent or lack of ability to consent
Definition Sexual penetration means any intrusion of the sex organ or anus of one person by any object, sex organ or mouth of another person Sexual conduct means any touching or fondling either directly or through clothing of the sex organs, anus or breast for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification

What You Can Do

  • Call the police
    • If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, call the police as soon as you reach a place of safety. If the sexual assault just occurred, call 911 so police can assist immediately. If the sexual assault occurred in the past, call the non-emergency number (815-753-1212). Officers will meet with you to discuss the circumstances and next steps. It is important for you to get help, as well as prevent your attacker from victimizing someone else.
  • Preserve evidence and get medical care.

NIU offers many sexual misconduct resources that will assist you with:

Sexual assault is an extremely traumatizing crime. If you are the victim of a criminal sexual assault, we urge you to seek help quickly.

Contact Us

In case of emergency: Call 911

Non-Emergency Phone Number: 815-753-1212


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