GBV poster on campus

Photo by: Kelsa Katzfey ’21

On Winona State University’s campus, 30.5% of students have been victims of sexual assault and 20.5% of students have been victims of domestic violence in their lifetime according to the most recent Boynton College Student Health Survey.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and although you may have never experienced sexual assault in your lifetime, a friend or a loved one might be a victim. According to rainn.com, every 92 seconds, a person experiences sexual assault.

Sexual assault and sexual violence include any form of attack such as rape, attempted rape, unwanted touch, unwanted sexual contact or sexual threats. Sexual assault can happen to anyone at any time, no matter their gender identity.

Nearly three in four students at Winona State University report having experienced any sort of sexual harassment. Sexual assault has been reported more common in women than in men according to the survey.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety are higher in people who have experience sexual assault or domestic violence. Among WSU students, 52% of those who report being victims of sexual assault say they have been diagnosed with depression within their lifetime. 46.4% of those who report being victims of domestic violence say they have been diagnosed with depression within their lifetime.

It is important to check on your friends struggling and ensure that they receive the help and support they need. WSU have multiple resources for victims of sexual assault, sexual violence, gender based violence and domestic violence.

It is important to remember that sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. If you are a victim of sexual violence or assault, try to remember to preserve clothing worn and seek medical attention immediately. Contact a trusted loved one, campus security at 507.457.5555 or 911 for professional help and services.

According to Boynton’s College Student Health Survey, 48.8% of WSU students who indicate they have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime reported the incident. Of those students 22.6% reported it to a health care provider, 11.3% reported it to the police, and 9.7% reported it to a campus authority.

Attempted, threatened or sexual violence is a crime and you have the right to report it. There are many options for survivors depending on the actions that a victim chooses to take. Peer counseling and support are offered 24/7 through the Gender-Based Violence Helpline at 507.457.5610. Counseling Services also offers free and confidential help at 507.457.5330.

Winona State University is hosting Take Back The Night, an event on Tuesday, April 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is an evening dedicated to supporting survivors of gender-based violence. This is co-sponsored by Women’s Resource Center of Winona, Winona State University’s RE Initiative, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

For more resources on Winona State University campus to help survivors and offer confidential and professional support, visit the sexual violence resources page.

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Cheney Mason

Cheney was the Wellness Blog Manager before she graduated in 2019 with a BA in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. Cheney is from Stevens Point, WI and her interests include writing, baking, working out, hanging out with friends and traveling.