What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is "actual, attempted or threatened sexual contact with another person without that person's consent. Sexual assault often is a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota state law, as well as under the Student Conduct Code and employee discipline procedures."
What is consent?
"Consent is informed, freely and actively given, and mutually understood. If physical force, coercion, intimidation, and/or threats are used, there is no consent. If the victim/survivor is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the victim/survivor cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation, and the condition was or would be known to a reasonable person, there is no consent. This includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious."
Rape is sexual intercourse without consent. If you have experienced sexual assault you may be feeling hurt, angry, sad or confused. You may be experiencing difficulty sleeping, nightmares or an inability to concentrate. You may also find it difficult to trust people or to go about your regular daily routine. These responses - and many others - are a normal reaction to a traumatic event. Check out our Consent Brochure!
Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. The blames lies with the person who chose to hurt you.
What do I do now?
Aurora Center advocates offer support and advocacy to students, staff and faculty of the University of Minnesota who are victims of sexual assault. Our services are free and confidential.
If you have been sexually assaulted, view our emergency page for possible next steps.
Where can I learn more?
More information about the dynamics of and common responses to sexual assault is available in our sexual assault information packet. For statistics on sexual assault, visit oneinfourusa.org. Additional information and handouts are provided in our publications or view the University of Minnesota's Adminstrative policy website on Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking.
Stage 1: The Initial Shock or Acute Stage
Stage 2: The Denial or Pseudo-Adjustment Stage
Stage 3: Reactivation or Decompensation Stage (“Life falls apart”)
Stage 4: The Anger Stage
Stage 5: The Integration Stage
**Remember that sexual assault happens in all communities. Male survivors, survivors of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered survivors all experience similar reactions to those described above. However, they are also likely struggling with the additional burdens of stereotypes, racism, homophobia and other oppressions, often leaving them feeling even more isolated, confused, ashamed, frightened, and less likely to seek support.**
The Sexual Assault Response Protocol details the many ways the University of Minnesota, TC supports victims/survivors of sexual assault who come forward to ask for help and/or report to seek consequences for those who hurt them. This protocol explains the professional and thoughtful steps and response strategies of many campus offices and professionals who offer victim/survivors help. As you contemplate what your options are, know your rights as a victim/survivor on campus with the help of the UMN Victim Rights guide.
There are many options when it comes to reporting incidents of violence and harassment. Aurora advocates have experience and can help you through all the information, steps, and processes whether you report to police, an academic or student program, a university disciplinary office, etc. Our goal is to support you and help you through the steps.
To learn official university policies on sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking or sexual harassment, or how to report or respond to these incidents, visit the University of Minnesota's official policy page as well as the Student Code of Conduct or the Employee Code of Conduct.
The Student Conduct Code procedure and the Student Discipline Process provide details and answers questions about what happens when a report is made to the University student disciplinary process. Should the accused or victim/survivor choose to appeal a disciplinary finding the Campus Committee on Student Behavior provides information on the formal hearing appeal process.
You may also report discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and/or nepotism perpetrated by university community members with the Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action office via phone, in person, or online.
If you'd like to file a police report with UMPD, MPD, or another law enforcement agency, contact Aurora. Advocates can meet you at the police station or arrange an officer to meet you at our comfortable offices to file a report.
"Dear Saturday Night,
I wish that you didn't have to exist...It’s been three years today that I was sexually assaulted. I always wonder if I screamed loud enough, if I protested as much as I could have... While that will remain unknown, you have given me the chance to say, loudly and unabashedly—STOP. I will no longer be a victim..." To Read more visit "Saturday Night: Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Duke"