Sexual assault is about power and control and not a crime of passion. People who commit rape are acting out of a need to humiliate another person or to make themselves feel more powerful. And rape is not always about men attacking women – some men rape other men just to feel the same sense of power.
Educational programs and resources are available to educate students on the topic of sexual assault. Please contact the UCA Counseling Center (501) 450-3138 for educational programs and or resources. Please call the UCA Police Department at (501) 450-3111 to report a sexual assault/rape. Staff at the University of Central Arkansas are dedicated to providing a safe environment for our students and sexual violation of any individual will not be tolerated.
Definition of Sex Offenses
Arkansas legal definition of rape – A person commits rape if he/she engages in sexual intercourse or deviant sexual activity with another person: (a) by forcible compulsion; (b) who is incapable of consent because he/she is physically helpless, mentally defective, or mentally incapacitated or (c) who is less than fourteen (14) years old (the perpetrator has to be three years older than the victim for this to apply).
- Mentally incapacitated – the victim is temporarily incapable of appreciating or controlling his/her conduct as a result of the influence of an intoxicating or controlled substance that renders the victim unaware that the sexual act is occurring. Alcohol can also be considered a date rape drug!
Acquaintance rape - refers to a rape committed by a non-stranger who is known to the victim, and can include a friend, family member, neighbor, classmate, or co-worker. Approximately seventy- five percent of all rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
Date rape - a type of acquaintance rape where the victim has consented to accompany or go on a date with the perpetrator.
Sexual assault - includes abuse/fondling/touching of a person in areas of the body considered private and against his/her will, by force, threat, or intimidation.
Sexual assault/rape can occur whenever consent is not freely given, whenever the victim fears that he/she will be injured if he/she does not submit, whenever the victim is incapable of giving consent or resisting due to alcohol or drugs, and whenever the perpetrator uses physical force, threat, coercion or intimidation to overpower the victim.
Sexual harassment –Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment. For more information regarding UCA's policy on sexual harassment refer to the Student Handbook on myUCA through the Student Services channel.
For more information on specific Arkansas Criminal Codes go to www.arkleg.state.ar.us.
If it Happens to you
If you or a friend has been raped here are some important steps to take:
- Call a friend or supportive family member.
- Call the police.
- Preserve the crime scene as much as possible for the collection evidence. For example, do not shower, douche, or change clothes before going to the Emergency Room.
- If you go to the Emergency Room, the hospital staff will more than likely contact the local law enforcement agency. That agency will respond to the ER to make contact with you. This does not mean that you are required to file a police report or file charges. However, if you do file a police report within 48 hours, the hospital should not charge you for the rape exam/kit and the report is necessary should you decide to file charges or make a claim for compensation through the Arkansas Crime Victim Reparations Program.
- The hospital staff will check for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and pregnancy, physical injuries and the collection of evidence.
- Request the doctor give you a blood and urine test if you suspect the use of a date rape drug (this test is not routinely done). For some drugs such as GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) – sometimes called “ Liquid Ecstasy” there is a small window of time 4-12 hours that it may show on a drug screen (this is why it is important to go to the Emergency Room as soon as possible).
When drugged, you may feel drunk or impaired very quickly maybe even after one drink or even one sip. You may feel drowsy, dizzy, nauseated, uncoordinated, and have loss of memory. GHB is often colorless tasteless if added to your drink. Again, if you suspect being drugged remember to request the hospital staff to test for that specific drug.
If you are not sure you want to press charges it is important to take the above steps so that legal action can be taken if you change your mind at a later date.
Reporting a Sexual Assault/Rape
There are two options for reporting a sexual assault/rape if you are a UCA student:
- Report the crime to the UCA Police Department (501) 450-3111 or Conway Police Department (501) 450-6120 or law enforcement jurisdiction in which it occurred. Reporting the crime does not mean you are ready to press charges. Once you have decided to press charges the evidence collected will be turned over to a Prosecuting Attorney (PA) and the PA will decide if a case can be made against the perpetrator. If a police report is filed and the incident occurred on campus it more than likely be forwarded to the Dean of Students.and/or
- If you decide not to take legal action by contacting law enforcement a victim can seek university disciplinary action against the perpetrator by contacting the Dean of Students. A hearing will be scheduled and disciplinary action considered. Disciplinary sanctions include, but are not limited to, suspension, removal from a hall, expulsion, or mandatory counseling.
Getting Help in the Recovery Process
There are a number of services on campus and in the community to aid in the recovery of a survivor of a sexual assault.
- The UCA Counseling Center – Student Health Center, Suite 327, (501) 450-3138. Personal counseling is available to aid in recovery. Services are free and confidential to UCA students, faculty and staff.
- Student Health Services – Student Health Center, 1st. floor, (501) 450-3136. Follow-up medical attention is available.
- Counseling Associates, Inc. – 2515 College Avenue, Conway, (501) 336-8300. Personal counseling is available on a sliding fee scale.
- Rape Crisis Hotline - (800) 818-1189
- Rape Crisis Hotline (Conway, AR) - 1-866-358-2265
How to Help a Friend
If you are escorting a friend to the emergency room take extra clothes. Clothing may be considered evidence and retained by the hospital staff and/or police.
Do not blame the victim/survivor of a sexual assault/rape by asking “why” questions (“why did you let him/her in”). “Why” questions put a victim/survivor in a position of defending his/her decision and implies that the victim/survivor is at fault.
Listen and do not push the victim/survivor to press charges. A criminal conviction of the perpetrator is not guaranteed.
Let the survivor know that you will be available when he or she needs you.
Maximizing Personal Safety
When going out with a group of friends watch out for each other. If alcohol will be consumed designate one person in the group as the “designated non-drinker”. This person will keep an eye on the rest of his/her friends. When you go out again choose another “designated non-drinker”.
If going on a date with someone fairly new to you, consider taking separate vehicles. If the date is not going well you have the freedom to leave at any time. Always let a friend or family member know who you are going on a date with, where you are going, what time you are expected back home and call when you have returned home. If plans change while on the date then let your family member or friend know of the change of plans.
Do not assume that previous sex gives permission for future sex.
For additional information consult the Student Handbook at myUCA Student Services channel.