Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Posted On April 6, 2020
Categories Uncategorized

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and as we bring focus to this issue, we would like to pay special attention to those who may be threatened with sexual violence during our current COVID-19 health crisis. Georgia State University students are being faced with the challenges and fluctuations of campus closure, the move to completely online education, and loss of employment or other financial difficulties. Along with these widespread shifts, some students are facing new or continued risk for sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, or other inappropriate and undesired behaviors. The ways in which students may encounter and address such dangers has changed from just a few weeks ago, but please know that the Student Victim Assistance Office is still available and prepared to offer help to Georgia State University students who may need our services.

Below, we have shared some tips on how to remain as safe as possible during these times of social distancing. Please do not hesitate to call the Student Victim Assistance office at 404-413-1965 if you have specific questions or need more direct assistance. You may also call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-299-7233, but please call 911 if facing an immediate crisis.

  • Keep a log of all incidents; ones that seem small and those you consider significant. List what happened along with the date, time, and location somewhere safe on paper or in your phone/computer. This information will be important if you choose to report at any time.
  • Create a safety plan. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website, a safety plan is “a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave”. It’s great if you can write out a detailed plan, but if you can only jot down key words or commit some things to memory in order to remain safe, that works too! A good safety plan should include information such as code words to alert family and friends that you are in immediate danger, a list of things to bring with you in case you need to leave in a hurry, and addresses and phone numbers of places and people you can go to for help. Loveisrespect.org has an interactive guide to creating a safety plan. Georgia State University’s Student Victim Assistance staff can also assist you in creating a plan.
  • If you are searching for information regarding the abuse you are experiencing, you may utilize the “Safe Exit” feature on many websites such as thehotline.org or padv.org. Clicking on this button allows you to quickly close out of the webpage and automatically removes the site from your browser history which may be helpful if you share a computer/mobile device with your abuser or if they monitor your internet use.
  • Practice practical self-care. Do your best to develop habits that help keep your mind and body healthy such as taking vitamins, meditation, or physical activity.
  • With limited mobility and social interaction, try your best to remain in contact with trusted friends and family members. If you are worried about someone who maybe in an abusive relationship, be intentional about reaching out and checking in on them. Also, check out internet and social media groups to connect with other sexual assault survivors.
  • Learn additional tips and considerations for remaining safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.