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Minnesota National Guard
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. What is sexual assault? Sexual Assault is a crime. Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Consent should not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the victim to offer physical resistance. Additionally, consent is not given when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or unconscious.
Sexual assault includes rape, nonconsensual sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (e.g., unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact or fondling), or attempts to commits these acts. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender, spousal relationship, or age of victim.

2. What is “Consent”?

Words or overt acts indicating a freely given agreement to the sexual conduct at issue by a competent person.  An expression or lack of consent through words or conduct means there is NO consent.  Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the offender’s use of force, threat of force or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent.  A current or previous dating relationship by itself or the manner of dress does not constitute consent being given.

Remember: Consent can’t be given if you are asleep, unconscious or passed out.

3. What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?

First, get to a safe place.  If you are in need of urgent medical attention, call 911.  If you are not injured, you still need medical attention to protect your health.  The medical treatment facility offers you a safe and caring place.  To protect evidence, it is important that you do not shower, brush your teeth, put on make-up, go to the bathroom, eat, drink or change your clothes until advised to do so.  You may report the crime to law enforcement, the SARC or a Unit Victim Advocate (UVA), a Chaplin or to your chain of command –see the reporting options section of this website.  If you are uncomfortable reporting the crime contact the SARC, UVA or Chaplin for confidential counseling resources in your area. The SARC or UVA will also assist with explaining your reporting options.

4. What should I do if I know someone who has been sexually assaulted?

As a Guard Member, you should report immediately any activity that indicates a sexual assault may take place or has taken place.  You should ensure the victim is safe and show respect.  Do not make any judgments, listen and take the allegations seriously.  Encourage the victim to report the crime.  Protect the victim’s confidentiality by NOT discussing the assault with anyone, except the authorities.  Let the victim know they are NOT to blame for their assault!
RememberThe safety of your fellow soldiers and airmen, your unit, and your community may depend on your reporting these incidents.  You should report suspicious behavior immediately.  Sexual assault can be prevented-when you see or sense the risk of sexual assault, it is your duty to intervene, act and motivate others to stop sexual assaults.

5. Can you be sexually assaulted by someone you know?

YES.  Approximately 68% of all sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.  You can be sexually assaulted by your husband, partner, relatives, friends and co-workers. 
Remember you have the right to say No even if you:
-said yes, but change your mind
-have been kissing or making out
-willingly went to their house or they came to your home
-have had consensual sex previously with this partner
-have been drinking alcohol
-are wearing provocative clothing
*NO means NO Always!


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6. Can men be sexually assaulted?

YES. Men may be victims of forcible sodomy or indecent assault.   The response of the SARC, UVA, Chaplains, Commanders, and all other resources is the same for any victim, regardless of gender.

7. What is a ‘drug-facilitated Sexual Assault’ and what kind of drugs are used?

It is when a drug is used in a sexual assault to render you very weak, tired or unconscious.  When the victim is under the influence of the drug the offender commits the sexual assault. Alcohol is the drug most commonly used to facilitate sexual assault.  There are 3 other commonly used drugs; 1. GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid) GHB has a few forms: a liquid with no odor or a white powder and/or a pill, 2.Rohypnol (Roofies) which is a pill that dissolves in liquid, 3. Ketamine is a white powder.  All leave you helpless to stop an assault, unable to refuse sex or remember what happened.  The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste and are easily added to flavored drinks.  Alcohol can worsen the drug’s effects and is the most common ‘date rape drug’.  All these drugs metabolize in your system quickly so they are hard to detect.  Over the counter cough and sleep medicines are also being used. 
Remember: never accept drinks form other people—even trusted friends, don’t leave your drink unattended, don’t share drinks and always open drink containers yourself.  Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange.  Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.

8. How can I reduce my risk of being sexually assaulted?

Be assertive and state what you want or don’t want.  ‘No’ means ‘No’. Match your body language and your words-don’t laugh and smile when you are saying ‘No’.  Be prepared and always travel with a buddy or stay in a group. Stay sober, half of all sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by the offender, victim or both.  Your best defense is having a clear mind.  Never leave your drink unattended.  Be alert and aware of your surroundings.  Trust your instincts-if something feels unsafe, it probably is.
Deployment environments can present special risks. Sleeping areas may be less secure-report any unauthorized personnel in sleeping areas. Be alert and aware of your surroundings.  Different Cultures may treat females differently than they are treated in the U.S.  Be assertive and clearly state if you feel uncomfortable with how someone is treating you.   Report any inappropriate behavior to your commander immediately. 
*These tips can help reduce your risks of sexual assault, but they can’t completely eliminate the risk.  If you say “No” and still feel threatened, leave immediately or call for help!

9. Am I to blame if I was drinking or didn’t fight back?

NO! The responsibility of a sexual assault always lies with the offender-no one can make another person attack him or her by the way they look or act.  No one has the right to judge what you did or did not do during an assault or prior to an assault.  Many people do not fight back due to fear, shock or the perception that fighting will lead to even greater harm.  Anything you did to survive was the right thing to do.
 Remember: You are Not to blame for the sexual assault!  Nothing you did or did not do makes you responsible for the crime.
 

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