Sexual Violence

What To Do If You Are a Victim of Sexual Violence

First and foremost, seek medical attention. It may be difficult for you to determine how extensively you may have been harmed.

The primary medical concerns are physical injuries, venereal disease, and pregnancy. At the time of the examination, testing will be done in a systematic way in order to collect evidence that can be used to prosecute the offender.

Seeking medical attention does not force you to pursue the matter criminally. Resist the temptation to bathe, douche or change clothes before the exam; this destroys evidence.

Emergency Contraception (EC) is only effective if given within 72 hours of the assault, and certain physical evidence can only be obtained within 72 hours of the attack.

Cost should not deter you from receiving medical attention. As long as you are a University of Illinois fee- paying student, you are eligible for an examination at McKinley Health Center.

Under the Emergency Treatment Act, it is the responsibility of the hospital to treat you and then apply for reimbursement from:

Illinois Department of Health Division of Emergency Medical Services 535 West Jefferson Springfield, IL 62706 (Phone 217-785-2080).

Myths Conferencing Sexual Violence

MYTH: Only attractive, provocative women are sexually violated.

FACT: Both men and women can be victims. Victims can range in years from infancy to old age. Men, both straight and gay, are sexually assaulted; however, most frequently women are the targets and men are the assailants.

MYTH: Women are usually sexually violated by strangers.

FACT: The majority of people who are sexually violated are acquainted with the person who attacks them.

MYTH: Sexual violence is spontaneous and unplanned.

FACT: Many instances of sexual violence are planned; both victim and place can be decided beforehand.

MYTH: Some people deserved to be sexually violated because of their appearance or behavior.

FACT: FACT: No one asks or deserves to be sexually violated.

MYTH: A date is entitled to sex.

FACT: If a person is intimidated, coerced, or threatened, and then has sexual relations against his or her own will, sexual violence has been committed.

While no one deserves to be sexually violated, keep in mind that exercising good judgment can help to minimize many of the risks, just as good judgment can help protect one from other types of criminal victimization. The following paragraphs are intended to make the reader aware of the ways in which the law defines sexual violence in order to allow the reader to know what conduct is prohibited and to help the reader determine when he or she is the victim of sexual violence.

Illinois Laws: Sexual Violence Illinois criminal statutes divide sexual violence into the following four categories

  • sexual abuse = 1-3 years in prison
  • aggravated sexual abuse = 3-7 years in prison
  • sexual assault = 4-15 years in prison
  • aggravated sexual assault = min. 6 years in prison

Illinois law concerning sexual violence is notable for the following:

  1. It encompasses all types of behavior perpetrated by either sex, against victims of either sex, and at any age.
  2. Sexual assault and sexual abuse are defined in terms of the offender’s behavior rather than the state of mind of the victim.
  3. Evidence of the victim’s prior sexual activity or reputation is not allowed except when the evidence concerns the past sexual conduct with the accused.

Definitions To Know:

Sexual Conduct is defined as:

  • any intentional or knowing touching or fondling
  • by either the victim or the accused
  • either directly or through clothing
  • of the sex organs, anus, or breast
  • of either the victim or the accused
  • or any part of the body of a child under 13 years of age
  • or any transfer or transmission of semen by the accused upon any part of the clothed or unclothed body of the victim
  • for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal
  • of either the victim or the accused.

Sexual Penetration is defined as:

  • any contact, however slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person by an object, the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person
  • any intrusion, however slight, of any animal into the sex organ or anus of another person,
  • Age of Consent: In Illinois, the age of consent is 17.

    CONSENT is defined as a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question. Consent is a defense to many of the statutory charges of sexual violence, but not all.

    The following circumstances do not indicate consent:

    • lack of resistance to attack, resulting from the use of force or threat of force by the accused
    • submission to the attack, resulting from the use of force or threat of force by the accused
    • the manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense.
    • the fact that the accused knew the victim or dated the victim.

    The University of Illinois Rule

    All enrolled students at the University of Illinois are subject to the Student Code of Conduct which can be found at : a1_1-302.html.

    It is not necessary that an alleged perpetrator be criminally charged or prosecuted or that there is even a police report made by the victim for the Student Conduct Code and its sanctions to apply.

    The Student Conduct Code states:

    Sexual misconduct: any sexual activity that does not involve the knowing consent of each individual, expressed verbally or otherwise; this behavior includes but is not limited to:

    (1) any form of sexual penetration when the victim does not give or is unable to give knowing consent

    (2) any intentional or knowing touching or fondling by either person, directly or through clothing, of the sex organs, buttocks, or breast of either person for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of either person in which the victim does not give or is unable to give consent

    (3) any force, restraint, home invasion, or illegal trespass, actual or threatened, with sexual intent; indecent exposure; sexual harassment; or use of mail, telephone, or other communication systems to send obscene or intimidating materials that are unwelcome to the recipient

    The most likely sanction upon a finding that a student has engaged in Sexual Misconduct is dismissal from the University. Student Legal Service cannot represent students facing Sexual Misconduct charges where the alleged victim is another University of Illinois student. Private legal counsel must be retained.