Studying Abroad

UNH SHARPP provides confidential support services, advocacy, and referrals to survivors of interpersonal violence whether here on UNH’s campus or studying abroad. There are some key elements to be aware of surrounding how violence may differ when it comes to studying abroad, as well as how support services might vary depending on your location.

How is interpersonal violence different in a study abroad environment?

While you may be studying at a college campus similar to UNH, interpersonal violence can look different abroad when compared to a home campus. Perpetrators are commonly other foreigners who recognize the vulnerabilities of living in another country. Some interactions may be interpreted in different ways due to cultural differences. You may also have easier access to alcohol and other substances, as the legal age in most other countries is 18.

On Campus

  • More than 1 in 10 students reported unwanted sexual contact while at UNH [4]
  • A majority of survivors know their perpetrators:
  • Approximately 2 out of 3 rapes were committed by someone the survivor knows [1]
  • 73% of assaults were committed by a non-stranger [1]
  • A majority of sexual assaults involve alcohol or some form of substance abuse [3]
  • A majority of assaults happen on campus [3]
  • More assaults are reported during the first 6-8 weeks of the semester, known as the “red zone.”

Studying Abroad

  • Risk of an unwanted sexual experience is an estimated 3-5 times greater in study abroad environments [2]
  • Most survivors do not know their perpetrators:
  • 73% of perpetrators were either strangers (59%) or someone they met that day (14%) [3]
  • Alcohol and other substances were rarely a factor: only 17% of reports involved alcohol. [3]
  • More sexual assaults were reported during the 6-8th week of the semester. [3]

How You Can Help a friend while abroad

If a friend or roommate reaches out to you about an experience with interpersonal violence, the most important thing you can do is believe them and listen to them. You may be the first person they’re telling. Help them locate their available services in the area (see our interactive map below) refer them to SHARPP, which still has services available for students studying abroad.

Be an Active Bystander

While studying abroad, you will have the freedom to explore a new place that you are unfamiliar with. Be sure to look out for your fellow wildcats, even while you’re away from UNH. If you plan on going out, go in groups, have a backup plan, watch out for others in your group, and trust your instincts.

If you identify a potentially unsafe situation, there are safe ways to intervene. See our page on being an active bystander for more information.

Title IX Abroad

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a landmark law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs, including study abroad programs. If a student is participating in a UNH-sponsored study abroad program and experiences sexual violence, relationship abuse or stalking, they are still entitled to the University response, supports and accommodations provided by Title IX. If you are interested in reporting or learning more about your rights under Title IX while studying abroad, contact a confidential SHARPP advocate using the methods below to discuss your options.

Click here to find out more about Title IX.

TSA Screenings for Survivors

Survivors of sexual assault can be more sensitive to routine TSA screenings. TSA can accommodate you to ensure you have a comfortable trip.

Go to https://www.rainn.org/articles/airport-security-survivors for more information.

Resources while studying abroad

SHARPP is still available to you as a resource through our confidential 24/7 helpline: 1-603-862-7233. However, we do understand that making calls from a different country has complications, like high costs for international calls and time differences. Here are a few other ways you can get in touch with SHARPP outside the helpline:

Ask an Advocate

Ask an advocate is an online service that serves a similar purpose to our helpline. You can ask any question relating to interpersonal violence and a trained staff advocate will respond with resources, information, support or referrals.

Emails within our Ask an Advocate service are still confidential. In accordance with SHARPP policies, we will not share the content of your email or your identity unless legally compelled to do so (for example, if your question includes a report of abuse affecting someone under the age of 18), or if the content includes a legitimate threat to yourself or others. 

Click here for the Ask an Advocate online form and more information on this service.

Questions asked through Ask an Advocate will be answered Monday through Friday between 8:30-4:00 except when the University is officially closed for holidays or weather emergencies. Questions submitted after 4:00 on Friday will be returned the following Monday.

Skype calling

If you would like to speak with an advocate but cannot make a long-distance phone call from your country of study, we can work with you to arrange a Skype phone call. If interested in setting up a Skype phone call, please submit a message through the Ask an Advocate feature and indicate that you’d like to arrange a Skype call with an advocate.

International Rape Crisis Centers

SHARPP has created an interactive map of UNH-managed and some popular UNH-approved study abroad programs' universities and their closest rape/sexual assault crisis centers. Please keep in mind that foreign countries have laws different from those in the United States: for example, in France, if a violent crime is reported to a crisis center the survivor must undergo a psychological and health check. Not all countries or cities you study abroad in may have a crisis center, and some may only have telephone services.

 

 

[1] U.S. Department of Justice. 2005 National Crime Victimization Study. 2005.

[2] https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2019/09/assault-study-abroad

[3] https://www.ciee.org/about/blog/risk-factors-for-sexual-assault-while-studying-abroad

[4] UNH 2019 Campus Climate survey: https://www.unh.edu/sites/default/files/departments/president/media/unh_final_report_encrypted.pdf