Incoming Students & Families

Welcome to the University of New Hampshire!

We are the Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program, however, UNH students know us more commonly as SHARPP. We provide confidential support services to students, faculty, and staff members who have experienced interpersonal violence (IPV- sexual violence, relationship abuse, stalking, and harassment). Additionally, we facilitate a wide variety of violence prevention education programs to the UNH community on topics related to IPV, consent, healthy relationships, bystander intervention, and more!

The first 6 to 8 weeks at college can simultaneously be the most exciting and challenging for a first year or transfer student. There is so much to learn when it comes to navigating academics, campus, and student life. Fortunately, UNH has a myriad of resources available to help students transition to University life and receive the support they need in order to be successful. SHARPP is an example of just one of those resources available to students. Our office specifically exists on UNH's campus to support survivors of IPV via advocacy, systems navigation, counseling, academic interventions and more.

Research shows that IPV occurs at extremely high rates within the United States and is particularly prevalent on college campuses[1, 2]:

  • The majority of victims of sexual violence and stalking (of all gender identities) report that it first occurred prior to the age of 25[2]
  • 1 in 3 upper-level students (juniors & seniors) in dating relationships have experienced abuse within that relationship[3]
  • 13% of college students experienced nonconsensual sexual contact since enrolling at their institution of higher education (IHE), with the rates for women, undergraduate students, and people who are transgender, gender queer, and/or gender expansive being significantly higher than for men and graduate/professional students[4]​
    • Among undergraduate women, 1 in 4 were victims of sexual violence[4]
    • Among transgender, gender queer, and/or gender expansive students, 23% of undergraduates and 14% of graduate/professional students reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact[4]

Data from the University of New Hampshire's 2019 Climate Survey mirrors national findings surrounding rates of IPV on university campuses. Overall, this data reinforces the prevalence and impact of IPV for UNH students[5]:

  • 17% of UNH students experienced some form of IPV in a single academic year
  • 13% of UNH students experienced unwanted sexual contact in a single academic year
  • 56% of students who experienced unwanted sexual contact said it happened during their first year
  • The greatest percentage of occurrences of unwanted sexual contact happened each fall semester  

SHARPP strives to reduce the rates of violence happening within the UNH community by facilitating a wide variety of violence prevention programs specifically focused on consent, cultivating healthy relationships, and being an active bystander. In addition to our educational programs, it is incredibly helpful to have proactive and intentional conversations with your student around sex/consent, alcohol and other drug use, relationships/boundaries, and bystander intervention. 

We recognize there are many important topics to learn about prior to beginning at UNH. To help, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions from incoming students and the respective answers to those questions. We have also compiled the most frequently asked questions from parents, families, and caregivers and created a list of talking points to discuss with your student before they attend UNH. If you still have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us- we are always available to help!

[1]: Basile, K.C., DeGue, S., Jones, K., Freire, K. Dills, J., Smith, S.G., & Raiford, J.L. (2016). Stop SV: A technical package to prevent sexual violence. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[2]: Smith, S.G., Zhang, X., Basile, K.C., Merrick, M.T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., Chen, J. (2018). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey (NISVS): 2015 data brief – updated release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
[3]: Peugh, J., Glauber, A., (2011). College dating violence and abuse poll. Knowledge Networks. 

[4]: Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Harps, S., Townsend, R., Thomas, G., Lee, H., Kranz, V., Herbison, R., Madden, K. (2020). Report on the AAU campus climate survey on sexual assault and misconduct. Association of American Universities. 
Rankin & Associates Consulting. (2019, September). University of New Hampshire assessment of climate for learning, living, and working final report.