Sexual Assault Awareness

“Syracuse University is committed to the maintenance of an environment which is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from all exploitation and intimidation. The University will not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity.” 

On campus, we are lucky to have the resources of the Counseling Center, which provides 24-hour support and assistance, 7 days a week, year-round, to Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students who have been impacted by sexual and/or relationship violence and other forms of interpersonal violence. To contact them, call 315-443-4715. Sexual violence is also, of course, a law enforcement matter, and as such we offer the following information to dispell lingering myths surrounding sexual violence and to demonstrate to victims of sexual violence that we stand as their allies, ready to help and support survivors any way we can.

  • One in four women will experience sexual violence by the time they graduate from college. Among men in the United States, one in ten will become victims of sexual assault.
  • Interpersonal violence is the leading cause of injury to women aged 15-44.
  • Despite depictions in mass media, sexual assault is not usually committed by a stranger jumping out from a dark alley. In fact, among college students, 94% of perpetrators knew their victims.
  • There are a number of myths about sexual violence. To highlight a few: consent for one sex act does not grant consent to another, the way a victim is dressed is never a justification for a perpetrator to sexually assault them, sexual favors are not “payback” for paying for a date, and there is no “right way” for the victim of an assault to behave. The only thing rape and/or sexual assault victims have in common is the bad luck to have been in the presence of a rapist.
  • Fewer than 5% of sexual assaults of college students are reported to campus officials. We want to say to victims: we believe you and will help you any way we can. Contact us at any time by calling 315.443.2224.
  • A Guide to Affirmative Consent

Become an Ally in the Fight Against Sexual Assault

  • Only two percent of rape accusations are false, on par with or lower than those for other crimes. If your friend tells you he or she was raped, believe them, support them, and know where to turn for help.
  • Refuse to take part in victim-blaming. The responsibility for sexual assault lies solely with the actions of the perpetrator. No one ever asks to be raped.
    If you feel you would be safer or more empowered by taking a self-defense class, DPS offers a free Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) class each semester for SU staff, faculty, and students.
  • Work to stop the problem on campus. Volunteer and become an Empowered Bystander by contacting the Office of Health Promotion at or 315.443.3514.