Facts on Acquaintance Rape

It is estimated that nationwide, one in every four to five college women will be the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. Don't be fooled: the most common type of sexual assault is not a stranger but someone the victim knows, typically a date or acquaintance. To minimize your risk of being sexually assaulted by someone you know, it is critical to keep the following points in mind:

  • Alcohol and drug consumption increase your vulnerability to sexual assault and impair you and your acquaintance's judgment. Studies of sexual assault incidents show a high correlation between acquaintance rape and drug/alcohol usage.
  • Avoid being in secluded places with someone you don't know well. This includes residence hall rooms, apartments, and cars.
  • Always trust your instincts! If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, get out of that situation however you can. Do not worry about being "polite".
  • Be clear about your own sexual intentions and be crystal clear in communicating your limits. Do not give mixed messages. Say "yes" when you mean "yes" and "no" when you mean "no".
  • Avoid attending or staying late at parties where men greatly outnumber women. Do not ignore this advice. Also, make sure you have a safe means of getting home. Call us if you are concerned or fearful at 619-260-2222.
  • If you are sexually assaulted, call us immediately.  We will, along with the San Diego Police Department, investigate, provide support, and offer counseling services. If you desire, we will change your living situation if you are fearful of remaining in the same campus residence. Unless acts of sexual assault are reported, we cannot take action against the offender, nor can we then guarantee that others will not be at risk. We understand that this may be one of your most difficult safety decisions, and our goal is to help you through it with as much sensitivity to your concerns as possible.
  • Sex offenses are treated with the greatest seriousness on our campus: criminal and/or severe disciplinary action can be taken. If a criminal case is brought, we will help you as much as possible as you pursue it. In the case of disciplinary action, it is our University's commitment that a victim shall be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sex offense.

Read USD's Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Reporting and Response standards and Protocols

Learn more about Campus Assault Resources and Education (C.A.R.E.), the University of San Diego’s primary effort to provide support, resources and education to the student community pertaining to sexual assault and sexual exploitation