Sexual Misconduct - Sexual Assault

If you or someone you know has experienced a recent sexual assault, please call Yale University’s SHARE Center at 203-432-2000 and view our Post-Assault Care page.

On this page, you will find educational information and resources about sexual assault. You can also read Yale’s official definitions of sexual assault and sexual consent by visiting the Yale Sexual Misconduct Response & Prevention site. 

General Information About Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and rape can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic status. These acts can be perpetrated by an intimate partner, friend, classmate, coworker, family member, someone in authority, or a stranger.  Despite cultural stereotypes of an assault being perpetrated by a stranger, most sexual assaults are carried out by someone known to the survivor; statistically 80-85% of assaults are perpetrated by a familiar person.
Sexual assault sometimes involves physical force, but often that’s not the case.  Coercion, intimidation, and threats are often employed. During an active disregard of nonconsent, a person may be stunned to find their refusals and hesitations ignored, finding it difficult to process in the moment that someone they trusted would do that. Some assaults are carried out on people who are incapacitated, asleep, or even unconscious. Regardless of the circumstances, the survivor is never to blame.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, SHARE’s confidential services can help address the immediate and long-term impacts and help explore options moving forward. We understand that each person’s experience is unique, and does not occur in a vacuum but rather in the context of someone’s cultural, social and/or personal history. At SHARE we are also cognizant of the intense psychological distress that can happen after an assault. We work with individuals to develop a plan that includes exploring their options if there is interest in reporting, ensuring they attend to restoring their well-being, and connecting them with additional resources if appropriate. For students, we also provide both supportive counseling as well as short-term trauma treatments. Given that each person’s experience is unique, we work collaboratively with the survivor to develop a plan that meets their needs and empowers them to make their own informed decisions. 

Have you or someone you know experienced a recent sexual assault?  View our Post-Assault Care page.

Additional Resources

  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides information and statistics on sexual assault and can locate a local rape crisis center in your area. It also operates the National Sexual Assault hotline 24/7 and offers an online chat option.
  • MeToo Movement is an organization founded by Tarana Burke that assists a growing spectrum of survivors - young people, queer, trans, individuals with disabilities, Black women and girls, and all communities of color.
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center is an organization with a mission to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.
  • Forge is an organization that serves transgender and gender nonconforming survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
  • The Network/ La Red serves LGBTQ, poly, and kink/BDSM survivors of abuse, and offers bilingual services.  
  • Human Rights Center information page on sexual assault and the LGBTQ Community.
  • 1 in 6 is an organization that focuses on male survivors of sexual violence.  
  • It’s On Us is a campaign focused on changing the culture around campus sexual assault.
  • Know Your IX is a survivor- and youth-led organization that aims to empower U.S. college and high school students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools. 
  • MS is a non-profit organization committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.
  • The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence is a national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.