Sexual Assault

Victims are encouraged to call Campus Police or their local law enforcement agency for crime investigation, referral and/or transport for medical treatment and referral to crisis counseling and legal advocacy. Girl in distress

Reporting a rape or other act of sexual violence does not commit you to filing charges. When you make your report, have someone go with you. You can go the next day, but the sooner the better. Rarely do rapists attack one person only; they get away with it and so, they continue to do it.

If you are on-campus, call Campus Police by dialing:

  • 4444 from any campus phone
  • *80 from any campus pay phone
  • (949) 582-4444 from your cell phone.

If you are off-campus, call 911 or the police/sheriff department responsible for the area where the assault occurred.

The Victim should make every attempt to preserve any physical evidence of the assault.

  • This may include not showering or disposing of any damaged clothing or other items that are present during or after the assault.
  • Do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body.
  • Do not douche.
  • Do not change clothes if possible.
  • Do not destroy clothes if you do change. Hospital staff will need to collect evidence.
  • Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault. Local police or sheriff authorities will need to collect evidence.
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room, or if on-campus, to the Student Health Center as soon as possible whether or not you plan to file charges. The Student Health Center is not an "evidence collection" site but will assist you in securing the care you need. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy. The emergency room doctor will collect evidence using a rape kit for fibers, hairs, saliva, or semen that the attacker may have left behind. You or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room to file a report if you have not already done so. Ask the hospital staff about possible support groups you can attend right away.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust. You also can call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.


Community Resources for Victims of Rape


  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-714-935-7956
  • Rape Hotline: 1-800-585-6231
  • Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis, Orange County
    24-hour Hotline: 1-714-957-2737
    24-hour Hotline : 1-949-831-9110
  • LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
  • Nat’l Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Sheriff's Department

  • North Orange County: 1-714-647-7000
  • South Orange County: 1-949-770-6011
  • In all cases of emergency, call 911

Therapy Referrals and other Victim Services

  • SAVS - Irvine: 1-949-752-1971
  • SAVS - Santa Ana: 1-714-834-4317
  • LGBTQ - Information /Referrals: 1-714-534-0862

National Center for Victims of Crime, Abuse, Rape

  • 1-800-394-2255
  • TTY/pD: 1-800-211-7996

Campus Contact Numbers

  • Campus Police: 949-582-4585 / 24 Hour Emergency 949-582-4444
  • Student Health Center: 949-582-4606
  • Office of the Vice President of Student Services: 949-582-4567


  • Human Options: 1-949-737-5242
  • Interval House: 1-714-891-8121
  • Laura's House: 1-949-361-3775

Web Resources


Sexual Assault Policy

Saddleback College recognizes that sexual assault is a serious issue and does not tolerate sexual assault in any form. The College will investigate all allegations of sexual assault occurring on-campus or at off-campus grounds or facilities maintained by the district and take appropriate disciplinary, criminal or legal action. If the sexual assault did not occur on campus controlled property but the alleged assailant is a Saddleback College student or employee, the victim should report the incident to the Vice President of Student Services as soon as possible.

Any student or employee suspected of committing a sex offense of any kind is subject to both criminal prosecution by the State and disciplinary action under district and college policies and regulations. Campus disciplinary action can be initiated even if criminal charges are not pursued.

Disciplinary actions may be imposed on individual students, student organizations and/or any College faculty or staff responsible for any act of sexual violence. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a campus disciplinary proceeding and both shall be informed of the outcome. College sanctions following campus disciplinary procedures, detailed in Administrative Regulation 5401, depend on the outcome and may range from suspension to expulsion.

Every effort will be made to criminally prosecute perpetrators of sexual assaults.

Administrative Regulations 5404: Sexual and Other Assaults on Campus



What is Sexual Assault

It is the use of sexual actions and words that are unwanted by and/or harmful to another person. Some common terms that are used interchangeably with sexual violence are sexual abuse and sexual violence.


Sexual Consent: Free and active agreement, given equally by both partners, to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent is not present when either partner:

  • is below the legal age of consent
  • fears the consequences of not consenting (including use of force)
  • feels threatened or intimidated
  • is coerced (see below)
  • says no, either verbally or physically (e.g., crying, kicking or pushing away)
  • has disabilities that prevent the person from making an informed choice
  • is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs
  • lacks full knowledge or information of what is happening
  • is not an active participant in the activity

Sexual Coercion: Compelling someone to submit to an unwanted sexual act by intimidating, threatening, misusing authority, manipulating, tricking, or bribing with actions and words. When a person is coerced, she or he has not given consent.


Specific Forms of Sexual Violence

Dating Violence: Abuse or mistreatment that occurs in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships. It may take place at any point in the dating process – when two people first meet and become interested in one another, on their first date, during their courtship, once they have been involved with each other for some time, or after their relationship has ended.

Intimate Partner Violence: Physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.

Rape: Unwanted, coerced and/or forced sexual penetration. The perpetrator may penetrate the victim's vagina, mouth, or anus, either with a body part or another object. The victim also may be forced to penetrate the perpetrator's vagina, mouth, or anus.

Sexual Harassment: Unwanted verbal sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can also include stalking, voyeurism ("peeping toms"), exhibitionism/exposing, and obscene comments and phone calls. Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace, school, and other settings (such as public transportation, shopping malls, community events, social gatherings, places of worship, heath care facilities) and can create an intimidating or hostile environment for the victim. The perception of the victim, not the intent of the harasser, determines whether particular words or actions are harassing.

Sexual Violation: Use of sexual contact behaviors that are unwanted by and/or harmful to another person, but do not involve penetration. This can include touching or rubbing against a non-consenting person in public ("frottage"), forced masturbation, and non-consensual touching of the breasts, buttocks, genitals, and other sexualized body parts by another person.

Stalking: While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. A stalker is someone who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another (victim) and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place the victim or victim's immediate family in fear for their safety. According to California Penal Code 646.9, the victim does not have to prove that the stalker had the intent to carry out the threat.


Other Important Information to Consider if You've been Sexually Assaulted

If the alleged assailant is a Saddleback College student or the assault occurred on campus or District property, report the assault to Campus Police (949) 582-4585 whether or not you plan to file charges. Reporting a rape or other act of sexual violence does not commit you to filing charges. When you make your report, have someone go with you. You can go the next day, but the sooner the better. Rarely do rapists attack one person only; they get away with it and so, they continue to do it.

Whether the assault occurred on-campus or off-campus, if the alleged assailant is a Saddleback College student, faculty or staff member, file a report with Campus Police, the Vice President of Student Services and with local authorities.

Pressing charges can be a complicated process and the decision to file charges may be difficult. Each person must decide for themselves, based on their own circumstances. If you need support to make this decision, campus counselors are available in the Student Health Center (949) 582-4606.

Do not blame yourself. Victims of sexual assault experience a state that resembles acute grief. Their basic feelings of wholeness, strength, trust, self-control and self-confidence are often lost. The victim’s attempts to stop the attacker did not work — they were powerless. This feeling of powerlessness can be devastating to the victim. Many are unable to talk about their experience unless they are directly asked about it. The trauma of being victimized is often long-lasting. Although each person reacts differently, there are some reactions that are common.

These reactions include:

  • Shock, Disbelief, Numbness, Withdrawal
  • Preoccupation with thoughts and feelings about the assault
  • Unwanted memories, flashbacks, and/or nightmares
  • Intense emotions: anger, fear, anxiety, depression
  • Physical symptoms: sleep disturbance, headaches, stomach aches
  • Inability to concentrate, lower grades
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Fears about safety
  • Feelings of guilt and shame

Be compassionate with yourself. Even if your body responded sexually to the attacker, it does not mean you "enjoyed" the experience or that it is your fault. Even if you believe you were naive, not cautious, or even foolish, it is not your fault. You have been through a trauma and need to make space for your own emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual healing. You may be overwhelmed by many different emotions - fear, grief, guilt, shame, rage. It is important to seek support. There are many different options, such as talking with a campus counselor, joining a victims group or talking with a friend. People who receive counseling tend to recover from their experiences faster and with fewer lasting effects than those who get no help. Recovery from sexual assaults means that, over time, you are not thinking about the assault and your emotions are not dominated by it. You will be able to envision a positive, happy and successful future for yourself.



There are things you can do

College students are particularly vulnerable to victimization. Many are living away from home for the first time. New freedoms and peer pressures contribute to this vulnerability. A tragic result is that sexual Man stalking womanassault is the most common violent crime committed on college campuses today. In fact, research suggests that sexual activity may be forced on as many as 25 percent of all college females. Most of the assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Though it is much less frequent, men can also be sexually assaulted.

The more you know about sexual assault prevention, the better your chances are of never becoming a victim.

General Prevention Strategies

• Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.
• Keep to familiar, well-traveled and, after dark, well-lighted areas.
• Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
• Have your key ready to use before you reach the door — home, car, or work.
• Use the campus escort service.

Campus Police provide free Escort Service to and from buildings and parking area.

Use any campus pay phone to call: *80 or 582-4585

Prevention Strategies

In Social Settings

• Tell someone where you are going, who you’ll be with, and when you expect to return.
• Don’t let drugs or alcohol cloud your judgment. Alcohol and drugs can compromise your ability to make responsible decisions and are often related to date rape situations. This applies to both potential victims and potential assailants.
• Never leave your drink unattended.
• Choose settings for social activities very carefully. The proximity of other people heightens your safety, but does not guarantee it. "Gang rape" happens in spite of the presence of others because the group collaborates in the crime.
• Be assertive — communicate your limits clearly and don’t let anyone violate your space.

In Public Settings

• Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
• Do not hitchhike. A hitchhiker forfeits the ability to change direction and control of his/her movement.
• Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
• Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic. A rapist looks for someone who appears vulnerable.
• Walk close to the curb. Avoid door- ways, bushes, and alleys where rapists can hide.
• If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where there are lights and people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk on the other side of the street.
• If you are in danger, scream and run, or yell “fire.”
• Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you — especially if you are alone or it is dark. Know where help may be if you should need it.
• Whenever possible, travel with a friend.

At Home

• Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
• Install a peephole viewer in your door and use it. NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Require salespeople or repair people to show identification.
• Use only your last name and initials on mail boxes and in telephone directories.
• If strangers telephone or come to your door, don’t admit that you are alone.
• Hang up on obscene callers, and do not give any personal information over the telephone.
• Don’t let any strangers into your home— no matter what the reason or how dire the emergency is supposed to be. Offer to make an emergency phone call while they wait outside.
• If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
• If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, DON’T GO IN! Go to the nearest phone and call the police or sheriff.
• Watch your keys. Don’t lend them. Don’t leave them. Don’t lose them. And don’t put your name and address on the key ring.

In Your Car

• Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.
• Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.
• Have your car keys in your hand and check the back seat area before entering your car.
• Always lock your car doors after entering or leaving your car.
• Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.
• Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
• If your car breaks down, call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, turn on your flashers, put the hood up, and lock the doors. If someone stops to help, wait inside your car with the doors locked and ask them to call the police or a tow service for you. • If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or to a police or sheriff’s station.


Myths about Rape

It isn't sexual abuse if the victim consented. On the surface of it, this is a true statement but the term "consent" must be strictly defined. Ideally, a consenting individual is fully aware of what they are doing, has a good grasp of the consequences, and is free from any manipulation or coercion.
If a person is not capable of knowing what they are getting into, then they have not consented.
A victim may also choose to go along with the abuse in order to ensure that they survive the assault but submission does not mean consent
Rape is a sexual crime Sexual assault is a violent assault acted out in a sexual way. It violates not only the victim's body, but also the victim's integrity, safety and right to control his/her life.
Rapists are creepy looking men who hang out in dark alleys. In 75% of sexual assaults, the attacker is someone known to the victim: a friend, spouse or relative. The attackers seem normal, just like anyone else. Most are married, and of any race, class, religion, occupation or physical appearance.

The rapist is a sexually unfulfilled person carried away by uncontrollable urges.

Sexual assault is a question of power, not passion, and people can control themselves.

If people stay inside after dark they are safe from rape.
Seventy-five percent of sexual assaults occur at home or in a vehicle.
Rape is a rare occurrence in our society.

Sexual assault has always been a problem in our society and it is getting worse. Reported assaults account for only 10% of all such crimes.

Rapists rarely repeat their crimes. 50% of convicted sexual assaulters repeat their crimes
Sexual assault of males is a rare occurrence. Males and females are both vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Since males are expected to take care of themselves, they are less likely to report sexual assault or talk about it. In ever-increasing numbers, men are coming forward to acknowledge the occurrence of recent assaults on them as adults.
Males who are sexually assaulted do not suffer to the same extent as female victims. Sexual assault is a crime of violence and all victims suffer. Male victims experience the same reaction to the crime as female victims. Some of these reactions include self-blame, fear, anger, relationship problems, questions about sexuality, addictions and trust issues. Not everyone will experience all of these nor to the same extent.
Males are only abused by homosexual men. The majority of offenders are heterosexual males; only a few are homosexual men. Females can also assault males, using coercion or threats to enforce compliance. Because most offenders are known to the victim, attacks are unexpected and often are not labeled as a sexual assault by the victim.

Eighty percent of offenders fall into the category of acquaintances, such as friends, relatives, coworkers, classmates, etc.

Males assaulted by another male automatically are, or become, homosexuals. Again, sexual assault is not a crime of sex; it is a crime of violence. The sexual orientation of the victim is not changed by such an attack. A straight male assaulted by another male does not become homosexual any more than a gay man assaulted by a female would become heterosexual. This myth causes many male victims to avoid telling anyone for fear of being labeled gay. It is not uncommon for others, including some police and family members, to believe this and to act negatively.
Male victims of sexual assault can never be normal again. They are permanently damaged Although sexual assault is a very traumatic experience, with help victims do recover. The important thing is that help is sought. Healing from a sexual assault is a long, sometimes painful process; dealing with it alone is very difficult. Talking to others who have had similar experiences, or with someone who is supportive, can help the victim cope with the emotional responses to the assault.
The victims secretly want to be raped Sexual assault is often violent, terrorizing and humiliating. People do not want to be abused, hurt or humiliated. Fantasies are one thing; reality is another.
The victims "ask for it" by their dress and actions. No person asks to be hurt or degraded. Most sexual assaults are planned, and when an attacker wants to assault, it makes no difference how the victim looks or how they dress.