Note: If you need to leave this page quickly, click on escape.
Caution! Computer and Internet activity can be monitored. If you are being abused or stalked it may be safer for you to use a computer a perpetrator does not have access to (e.g., Open Access Lab). If you need to leave this page quickly, click on escape near the top and bottom right of this page and you will be redirected to Google.com. For more information call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) at (800) 799-SAFE (7233), (800) 787-3224 (TTY); or visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or CyberAngels online on a safer computer.
Click here for a printer-friendly version of domestic and sexual violence facts.
Sexual assault is the most common violent crime committed on college and university campuses in the U.S. A typical academic year will see 35 of every 1,000 college female students sexually assaulted or raped. For a school similar to Cal State L.A. with 12,000 enrolled women this could mean 420 female students sexually assaulted or raped per year. Sexual assault is often linked with intimate partner violence (also known as dating / domestic violence) and stalking.
The highest rates of intimate partner violence are associated with college age women. Male students are also at risk. Each year in the U.S. about 3,000,000 men are abused by a current or former intimate partner. Because men rarely report sexual assaults the extent of male rape is not known. It is estimated that male students comprise about 10% of collegiate sexual assault victims. The highest stalking victimization rates are experienced by women and men 18-24 years of age.
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Study
- 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey.
- Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped during their lifetime while 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime.
- 1 in 6 women have been stalked during their lifetime. 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking in their lifetime.
- 1 in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner while 1 in 7 men experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- Men and women who experienced these forms of violence were more likely to report frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty with sleeping, activity limitations, poor physical health, and poor mental health than men and women who did not experience these forms of violence.
These crimes are a significant enough concern for university students that both federal and state legislation require Cal State L.A. to address these issues in a very specific manner, from education and prevention programming to victim assistance services and perpetrator accountability (click on Campus-Related Legislation for details).
Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the information and resources available through this page, share the information with your friends, and know that the Student Health Center and its Project SAFE collaborators care. Please note: The California Penal Code defines dating and domestic violence, illegal sexual activity, and stalking in full. To view complete descriptions of these crimes visit California Law, Legislative Counsel of California.
Intimate partner violence (also known as dating and domestic violence) includes crimes which comprise abusive behaviors committed by an intimate partner (e.g., [ex-]boy/girl-friend, [ex-] spouse/domestic partner) or family member. They consist of threats of harm against the victim or others, hitting, kicking, sexual assault, and other criminal behaviors. Many perpetrators stalk their victims; some kill their victims.
More subtle forms of abuse include abusers: publicly humiliating their partners; controlling what their partners wear or who they can socialize with or talk to; name calling; withholding affection or personal assistance devices as a form of punishment; threatening suicide; and taking over their partner's finances.
Abusers often isolate their victims, emotionally and physically, preventing them from interacting with family and friends.
Perpetrators will often apologize and appear to make amends, but over time the violence escalates in frequency and severity.
(Related California Penal Code sections include: 13700. Related California Family Code sections include: 6200-6211)
Additional information on dating and domestic violence can be found through:
Sexual assault is a crime that uses sex as a weapon to exert control over, humiliate, and harm another person. It occurs when someone uses force, threats, alcohol or other drugs, or other illegal means to: kiss someone else; touch the butt or genitals of another person or touch the breasts of a woman; put a finger or object on or in another person's vagina or anus; put his or her mouth or tongue in contact with another's genitals or anus or make someone else put his or her mouth or tongue in contact with their genitals or anus; and place his penis on or in the vagina or anus of another person.
Other examples of illegal sexual activity include: situations in which a person is unable to give consent or is incapable of resisting (e.g., under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, unconscious, asleep); having sex with someone younger than the legal age of consent; and nonconsensual sex with a spouse.
Important considerations: According to California Law...
- "Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime."
- Consent for sexual activity can be withdrawn at any time, including after penetration.
- Attempts to complete the above acts are also crimes.
(Related California Penal Code sections include: 243; 261; 262; 286; 288; 289)
Additional information on sexual assault can be found through:
Information on sexual assault specific to male victims can be found through:
- 1in6: Info, Options & Hope for Men Sexually Abused as Boys
- Men Can Stop Rape
- National Center for Victims of Crime
Stalking is a crime in which someone repeatedly harasses, threatens, and controls another person causing the victim to fear for her or his safety. Examples include someone: showing up at places where you are even though there is no reason for them to be there; leaving unwanted items for you to find; making unsolicited phone calls or e-mails; following or spying on you; vandalizing your property; making threats against you or your family and friends; monitoring your telephone and computer activity; and tracking you using global positioning and other devices.
Stalking can also include perpetrators sending gifts; giving personal information about a victim to others; killing pets; and physical and sexual assaults. In some cases stalkers also kill their victims.
(Related California Penal Code sections include: 646.9)
Additional information on stalking can be found through:
Baum, K., Catalano, S., and Rand, M. (2009). Stalking victimization in the United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs
Fisher, B., Cullen, F.T., Turner, M.G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved January 16, 2001, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2011). National intimate partner and sexual violence survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_FactSheet-a.pdf
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2006). Understanding intimate partner violence. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from the National Center for Injury Prevention and control at http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/index.html
Sampson, R. (2002). Acquaintance rape of college students. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved January 7, 2008, from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov
This website is an education program of Project SAFE. Project SAFE is a program of the Cal State L.A. Student Health Center's Health Promotion and Education Center, in collaboration with University Police, the University-Student Union's Center for Student Involvement and Cross Cultural Centers; and the East Los Angeles Women's Center.
Project SAFE was originally established through a grant (No. 2002-WA-BX-0012) awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.