Sexual Assault Awareness & Safety — Explained For — International Students

What is sexual assault and consent?

Sexual assault is any sexual activity without the consent of both parties. You and your partner need to give and get an ENTHUSIASTIC YES every step of the way.

Consent is when both people agree, both verbally, physically and emotionally to a sexual activity. It involves checking in with your partner, allowing your partner to stop at any time, being open to your partner changing their mind, and going at a pace that is right for everyone.

Get a better idea of what constitutes assault and consent

How is sexual assault viewed in your country?

Watch this video to see how sexual assault is viewed in your home country.


What consent looks like

In the US, consent is:
  • “Is this okay?”
  • “Yes!”
  • “I’m open to trying”
  • Initiating physical contact
  • Kissing back
Consent is NOT:
  • No response
  • Passed out
  • Indifference
  • Marriage or being in a relationship
  • The way a person dresses
  • Previous consent
  • Being drunk or on drugs
You and your partner can change their minds at any time. Consent has to be clearly given, and not implied or assumed. Flirting, kissing or touching does NOT mean you or your partner wants more.
Age of consent by state in USA
The US also requires that in order to give consent to a sexual act, they must be older than a certain age depending on the state.

Did you know...

  • Sexually assaulted while in college:

  • 7/10


    rapes are by someone
    the victim knew
  • 20% of women


    of female student victims
    report to law enforcement
Being an international student in college can be rewarding, but it’s important to stay safe!

Stay Safe

Know where to go
Know where to go when you need help Health Center, Friend, Campus Police, Police Department, Counseling Center, Campus Security
Be aware of your surroundings
Be aware of your surroundings Look around, be careful about posting your location
Keep an eye on friends
Keep an eye on your friends and stay together Have a friend escort you home, watch out for each other when you are out
Think about plan B
Think about Plan B Ask a friend, use a taxi, or bring bus money when you go out
Trust your instincts
Trust your instincts If you feel unsafe, leave the situation or ask for help

Learn more ways to protect yourself.

Speak Up, Help Someone In Need!

If you see something happening to your friend or peer, take a stand and intervene , but be sure you're safe, too! To help someone in need, you just need to CARE:

Create a distraction
Create a distraction — do what you can to interrupt the situation if you see something occurring.
Ask directly
Ask directly — talk to the person in trouble, and see if they need help.
Refer to an authority
Refer to an authority — talk to an authoritative figure who can change the situation, like a bartender, security guard or the local police.
Enlist the help of others
Enlist the help of others — ask others to help you intervene!
There are a lot of myths about sexual assault, but the victim is never to blame!

Seeking Help

In case of a sexual assault:
  • Go to a safe place — friend or family
  • Go to a nearby clinic
  • Talk to someone — friend, family, counselor, RAINN hotline

Your student health and counseling center are required by law to keep the information you share completely confidential. Or, call RAINN's toll-free, 24-hour, anonymous hotline.

Take these steps to get the help and support you need.

Reporting A Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a crime, and you can report this to:
By reporting a sexual assault to your school, they can make accommodations to ensure that your campus experience is free of sexual discrimination by:
  • Changing living situations
  • Switching class schedules
  • Issuing non-contact directives
International students should talk to their advisors to make sure any changes do not affect their visa status.

Return to our "Insurance Explained" section for more information and help