Social Activism Series: Sexual Assault on Campus
*Please note, this blog will discuss sexual assault, which may be triggering to some*
Do you feel safe on campus? Your answer to this question may have changed over the past few weeks. Recently, more and more survivors of sexual assault at the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus are coming forward with their stories. This is extremely difficult to do, and these survivors should be appreciated and supported for their courage and strength to come forward. However, many of these people do not feel heard.
The University of New Hampshire includes on the admissions page that the school is “consistently ranked one of the top-10 safest college campuses in the country” and includes the line: “You will feel safe here”. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that many students at UNH don’t feel safe and feel as though they cannot report what has happened to them.
There are many resources here on campus designed to help you. Here is a list of a few of them and the different services they provide.
- SHARPP. SHARPP, or the Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program is an amazing resource on campus that can be utilized by everyone. SHARPP is overseen by Student Life and is located at Wolff House with drop-in hours Monday-Friday 8 am - 4:30. They also have a 24/7 helpline you can call, (603)862-7233. If you prefer to web chat or text someone, they have another number at (603)606-9393. SHARPP is always there to talk, and no issue is too big or too small to discuss.
- PACS. PACS, or Psychological and Counseling Services is another helpful resource here on campus. PACS is located on the 3rd floor of Smith Hall, and also has a number to call after office hours, (603)862-2090. PACS offers a wide array of services such as individual counseling, group counseling, telehealth services, online screenings, and so much more. PACS is a great place to go if you are struggling but are not completely sure who to talk to. They have a variety of emergency and crisis services, including urgent same day appointments.
- Housing and Residential Life. Housing and Residential life at UNH is always there for you. If you are an on-campus student and live in a UNH Residential building, you have either an RA on your floor or a CA in your building. RA’s and CA’s are trained and specifically in their positions because they are there to help you during the school year. Whether you need to get advice, figure out how to report, or just want to talk, they are there for you.
- UNH Police Department. UNH police department is here to help as well. Their office is located at 18 Waterworks Road, a short distance from campus. They are always there should you need anything.
- Incident Reporting. There are many different ways to report incidents of sexual assault. The first way is by directly filing a complaint to the Title XI Coordinator, or the Chief of Durham Police. These departments are required to take action. You could also tell a UNH Mandatory Reporter, which includes all UNH Staff, faculty, hall directors, coaches, RA’s, CA’s, Teaching Assistants, and Mentor Ambassadors for Transfer Engagement (MATES). These people are required to disclose all information to the Title XI Coordinator, including identity. If you would like to remain anonymous, you may file an online Incident Report Form. You can also download the LiveSafe App which contacts UNH police directly or contact UNH Privileged Confidential Support Resources.
- Off-Campus Resources. If you would prefer to take the matter off campus, there are resources available to you. The Crisis Center of Central NH is located in Concord, and they have a 24-Hour Crisis Line, as well as support groups and hospital accompaniment services. There is also the National Domestic Violence Hotline you can reach out to, as well as the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network.
No matter what you may be struggling with, know that you are never alone. There are many people on campus eager to help you through whatever it is you may be experiencing, no matter how big or small it may seem. As more information continues to come to light, we will continue to update the blog.