Sexual assault can be one of the most devastating experiences in a person’s life, and it often happens without warning. When students experience sexual abuse on campus, they may not even know that something is wrong – until it’s too late. In order to help save our college students from such painful experiences, we need to do everything we can to teach them about the warning of sexual abuse signs and how to respond appropriately when they see these signs
Types of Sexual Abuse
There are many different types of sexual abuse that can take place in college. Some common warning signs of sexual abuse include:
1. A student exhibiting unusual or overly affectionate behavior towards someone they are not romantically involved with.
2. A student who withdraws from social activities, isolates themselves from friends, or becomes very secretive around the time of the alleged incident.
3. A student exhibiting changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, or alcohol consumption that seem out of character for them.
4. A student who reports feeling like they cannot tell anyone about what has happened because they fear the abuser will hurt them or their family members.
5. A student who exhibits symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as flashbacks, nightmares, and feeling detached from life events outside of the assault itself.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
Sexual abuse can take many different forms, from subtle gestures and comments to forced intercourse. If you notice any of the following warning signs in your students, it’s important to take action:
-A student who is often anxious or moody;
-A student who withdraws from social activities;
-A student who becomes secretive or avoids eye contact;
-A student who exhibits repeated physical injuries that don’t appear to be related to athletic activity or martial arts training;
-A student who has difficulty getting a good night’s sleep.
If you are concerned about the safety of a student, it is important to reach out to a trusted friend, counselor, or dean for support. You can also contact the Campus Safety Office at (609) 292-6000 for more information about how to report sexual abuse on campus.
Action Steps to Help
If you are a college administrator or faculty member, there are some important things to remember when it comes to recognizing and dealing with sexual abuse on campus.
Here are some action steps to help start the process of preventing and responding to potential sexual abuse on campus:
1. Educate yourself and others on what constitutes sexual abuse. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of abuse so that you can identify potential cases and take appropriate action.
2. Be proactive in monitoring your campus for signs of sexual abuse. If you see something that makes you concerned, don’t hesitate to reach out to your administrators or police department.
3. Report any suspected cases of sexual abuse immediately. If you have information about a possible case of sexual abuse, don’t wait to contact authorities. Doing so could potentially save the victim from further harm.