What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence is any physical contact with another person in a sexual way without that person's consent. It covers rape and attempted rape, as well as other non-consensual sexual acts. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated due to alcohol, drugs, or disability, threatened, coerced, or asleep. Frequently the perpetrator of sexual violence is someone the victim knows, such as a friend or family member.
Sexual violence is considered an extreme form of sexual harassment, a subset of sex discrimination under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (as well as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act). For more information see:
What should I do if I have been the victim of sexual violence?
After an assault, the following steps are recommended:
- To file a police report, call University police (UMSLPD) at 911 or 314-516-5515 Off-campus, call St. Louis County Police at 911 or 314-889-2341
- Seek medical attention. The SSM DePaul Health Center provides rape examinations and medical care. 12303 DePaul Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63044. The exam is free and confidential. It is not necessary to make a police report to use SSM DePaul Health Center ER services.
- Seek support. The University offers several on-campus resources, including: the University Health, Wellness and Counseling Center and the Center for Trauma Recovery.
The police will investigate and pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator as appropriate. In a separate but related process, the University will pursue the case as sexual harassment once it has notice of the incident. As with other kinds of discrimination, there are several avenues for addressing sexual harassment depending on the circumstances. If the perpetrator is a student, the matter will be handled by the Division of Student Affairs. For harassment perpetrated by faculty or staff, bring the matter to the attention of a supervisor, department chair, Human Resources officer, or other trusted MU official. Regardless of the circumstances, it is always appropriate to confer with the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity, who serves as the UMSL Title IX Coordinator.
Campus and Community Resources
Safe Connections Crisis Helpline
St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Hotline
National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
Or text “loveis” to 22522 (Msg. and data rates apply on text for help services)
South Asian Women’s Empowerment Regional Association (SAWERA) Helpline
Bridgeway Sexual Assault Center
Life Crisis/Suicide Crisis Hotline