True or false? Most incidents of sexual assault in a college community are acquaintance ordate rapes.The answer is true.

West Virginia Universitys Department of Public Safety wants all students to be more informed about the realities of sexual assault, said Lt. Randy Friend, campus training and crime prevention officer with the Department of Public Safety.

Heres a few more realities about sexual assaults in the college environment:

  • The assault most often takes place in either the perpetrators, or the victims residence, and both parties are there consensually.
  • Alcohol is a huge factor in most cases, and generally the greater the amount consumedthe higher the risk.
  • Consensual behavior may have taken placebefore the act.

For young ladies, if you dont want to have sex with someonethat is your right,Friend said.When you say or imply noit is your right not to have sex against your will. If you dont want to have sexfirmly tell the other person no. If they persistremind them that non-consensual sex is rape.

Friend advises students that believe they are a victim of sexual assault not to bathe, change clothes or do anything to destroy evidence. Call 911 or 9-911 (on campus phones) and report the incident as soon as safely possible to do so.

For young men, remember to respect the right of a young lady to say no,Friend said.Failure to respect that right is sexual assault. Sexual intercourse with a person that says no is rape. If a person is incapacitated due to drugs, alcohol or any other reasonsex with that person is not consensualand is defined as sexual assault by West Virginia State law.

If an incident is reported, Friend added, it will be investigated by the police, and the perpetrator will be subject to criminal prosecution. The crime of rape carries a 15 to 25 year sentence, he added.

For more information, contact the WVU Department of Public Safety or visit the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education website athttp://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/shs/SAPEO/.