If you are a student leader on campus, such as an RD, RA, and/or peer group leader, this information should be helpful for you to address issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking in our community, or in your dorm. Also, if you would like to plan a specific event or workshop for your dorm, just let RISE know!
The RISE Project
RISE Hotline (evenings and weekends): 828.337.3264
What does the RISE Project do?
We offer education and training on sexual assault, consent, healthy relationships, and dating violence and stalking. We organize a variety of service opportunities too. We also provide support and advocacy to people who experience sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, and their friends and partners.
What are signs that someone has experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse, relationship violence, or stalking?
Many people experience PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some common symptoms include:
- recurring thoughts about what happened
- trouble sleeping
- change in appetite
- anxiety or fear (especially in situations reminiscent of the trauma)
- being overly alert or on edge
- feeling depressed or sad
- having low energy
- feeling emotionally withdrawn or numb
- crying spontaneously
- feeling hopeless
- being protective of others
- isolating oneself
- feeling angry, resentful or irritable
- difficulty focusing
- memory problems (especially regarding specifics of the trauma).
Some students might experience something while they are students here and others might have experienced something in high school or as a young child. Some students might not have experienced something directly, but might have witnessed violence in their home, and are likely to struggle with PTSD as well.
How might you come across students who have had these experiences?
Students might move out of or into your residence hall. In most of these situations you won’t know because students will give other reasons.
You might see something suspicious. Better to act and be wrong than do nothing.
A student might come to you about a friend and/or roommate. Sometimes students will come forward as a group.
You might notice symptoms of PTSD.
- You might notice changes in students, particularly behavior or mood.
Why don’t people report sexual assault/abuse, relationship violence or stalking?
Think it is not that serious, particularly that more serious things have happened to others.
Afraid people will not believe them.
Do not want others to know.
Blame themselves and/or are ashamed that they “allowed” the abuse.
Want to forget about it and move on.
They believe an abusive partner can and will change.
They are financially dependant on partner.
They do not feel like they have the resources to leave a relationship.
They love their partner.
They believe they don’t deserve anything better.
- They witnessed abusive relationships, and think it is the way relationships are.
What can you do if someone you know has experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse, relationship violence or stalking?
- If they share their story with you, tell them that you believe them and support them in coming forward.
- Present them with referral information.
- Let them know that you can go with them to meet with someone, or be with them when they make a phone call. Appropriate referral information includes RISE, Our VOICE, Health Center and/or Health Department, Hospital (depending on how soon after the assault it happens), and Counseling Center.
- Someone who has just been sexually assaulted might want to go to the hospital for medical treatment and/or evidence collection.
- Respect that person’s right to privacy.
- Let students know that they can report something at anytime. It is never too late.
- Let students know that they have a variety of options, including various reporting options.They can talk to RISE and for guaranteed confidentiality there is the Counseling Center.
- Any of you can ask us questions on behalf of other students, too.
- Meet people where they are at. Let them make their own choices.
- Support them.
*If you hear verbal fighting or physical altercations between partners, friends, roommates, please do not just ignore it. Use your best judgment. You might need to call 911 or Public Safety. You can also call the RISE Hotline - or it might be appropriate for you to intervene, either alone or with others. Consider safety first.
*Getting to know students in advance will increase the likelihood that they will disclose to you.
*If you notice changes in a resident or someone in your peer group, talk with them about it. If you aren’t sure how to do so, come by and talk with RISE or one of the counselors about what you can do.