Sexual assault. You've probably heard the alarming statistic that "one in four women experience sexual assault on campus."
Scary, right? Just in this past year, conversations about sexual assault have been on the rise and so many brave stories have been told from survivors across all walks of life. However, what are tangible things we can actually do, and supportive resources we can leverage, to help change the "one in four" narrative and ensure that the future of our sexual health is brighter?
Here are the best sexual assault resources for college students:
1. Your campus health clinic
Odds are, your campus health clinic is loaded with all of the information and free resources you need to keep you and your partner(s) safe and healthy. From STD/STI testing to free condoms, you can find it all here. (AKA you can stop buying those overpriced Trojans at Walgreens and just grab a handful from your clinic!)
2. Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is about so much more than just abortion—it's a nonprofit that offers cohesive sexual health and wellness services, from contraceptives, to cancer, to sexuality and relationships.
3. Rape crisis centers
They're everywhere, and they provide victims with crisis intervention, counseling, prevention education and other supportive resources.
4. National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
Call 800-656-HOPE, and you'll be directed to a local sexual assault service/support in your area. It's a safe and confidential hotline.
Recovering from an experience of sexual violence is a process, and the timeline of recovery looks different for every survivor. Therapy is a great option to work through the aftermath of trauma, learn the best coping skills for you and develop strategies for managing the post-traumatic stress.
6. Student advocacy groups & organizations
So many college campuses have student orgs dedicated to sexual assault awareness, survivor support, and prevention. Get involved directly on your campus by joining one!
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the biggest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States—their website is loaded with a wealth of educational resources and activism opportunities.
8. Contact your elected officialsGiphy
Local, state, federal—you name it. Put your beliefs and perspectives into action by making your voice heard in government. Whether it's protecting Planned Parenthood, supporting local initiatives or simply spreading awareness, your voice matters in changing the narrative.
Whether you're a survivor or not, sexual assault is everyone's problem. Although these are just a few of the many available resources related to sexual assault, it's a step we can all take to prevent sexual violence and improve sexual health on our college campuses.