Sexual Assault Essential Information

If you have been sexually assaulted, please click here.

How does WMU define sexual assault?

Western Michigan University’s definition of sexual misconduct:
"Any form of sexual activity or sexual contact, including sexual harassment (see Appendix C for additional resources), which is unwanted, that occurs as a result of intimidation, threat of force, use of force, or other coercive behavior or occurs without consent. Examples include but are not limited to circumstances where consent is expressed but ruled invalid due to coercion; and/or, circumstances where consent is expressed but ruled invalid due to incapacitation and/or physical helplessness"  --WMU Student Code

How does Michigan define sexual assault?

Michigan Judicial Institute: Sexual Assault Benchbook

This book provides information regarding Michigan’s criminal sexual conduct offenses, research findings and statistics on sexual assault, resources and community agencies that assist victims of sexual assault, and more.

What should you know about sexual assault? 

  • Sexual assault ranges from unwanted touching to rape; it includes kissing, fondling, vaginal and anal intercourse, and oral sex. It is important to note that while rape may exist at one end of the spectrum, other forms of unwanted sexual contact can be as mentally and emotionally harmful to a survivor as forced sexual intercourse.
  • Rape is defined as non-consensual penetration of any body cavity with any object.
  • Stranger rape, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, is unwanted sex forced on a victim by an assailant whom the victim has never met.
  • Date or acquaintance rape is forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual contact by someone a victim knows, or in the case of date rape - someone a victim is currently dating or has dated in the past. Acquaintance rape is the most prevalent form of rape on college campuses across the country. It is estimated that 80 percent of sexual assaults are acquaintance rapes (Department of Justice, 1997).
  • If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, you can help . If you are a survivor of sexual assault, remember that you are not alone. There are people who can help you heal. Survivors of sexual assault can experience a range of emotions after being assaulted, including helplessness, anger, rage, depression, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, guilt, despair and fear. All survivors will experience unique emotions and should be allowed to heal in the way that is best for them.