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Rape/Sexual Assault

Rape, the act of non-consensual sexual activity, is one of the most degrading and intrusive acts that can happen to anyone. Although the act of rape is a sexual activity, it is a means of gaining and exerting control over another person. One in four women and one in eight men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Often, it is by some one they have trusted, or an acquiantance, a friend of a friend. The victim often is left alone with shame, guilt, embarassment, and depression.

How could I have left this happen? I thought I knew him? He would not stop and I couldn't stop him. No one will believe me. It is imperative you realize that this is a crime and that the attacker forced you. If you, or someone you know, has been raped, below are recommendations as to what to do, and who to contact:

  • Do not isolate yourself. You will now need your social support network now more than ever.
  • Contact the Police Department or the Department of Safety at 6005 immediately if the offender is still in your room or apartment if you can safely do so (if the offender is in another room, asleep, etc.). Otherwise get out of the room as quickly as you can and then contact 911, DS, your RD, the Engle Health Center on-call counselor, or a very trusted friend. As a victim, you have the option to contact the police without contacting DS or to just contact Residence Life staff.
  • However, if you wish we can contact the appropriate police department. This does not mean that you must file charges.
  • Go to the hospital to be evaluated
  • Do not bathe, douche, wash your clothes, or throw clothes/items away. Valuable evidence may be obtained to aid in prosecution of the offender if you choose to press charges.
  • Follow up with a counselor. There are many emotions you may feel and need help to process these emotions and begin the healing process

There are other agencies to contact:

 Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services of Cumberland County
 Rape Crisis & Domestic Violence Services (24 Hrs) Harrisburg
800-654-1211 or 238-7273
 Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties
800-852-2102 or 258-4249
 YWCA-Carlisle 243-3818

Hospitals in the local area

 Carlisle Hospital
 Harrisburg Hospital
 Hershey Medical Center
 Polyclinic Hospital
 Seidle Memorial Hospital

Ladies, what you can do to lessen the risk:

  • Do not drink alcohol or do drugs when on a date, at a club, or even at a party. More alcohol may be in your drink than you know, or drugs may be placed within your drink. If you do go to parties or clubs, do not go alone. Take a good friend or two along.
  • Date in groups of friends with whom you know well
  • Carry a cell phone with you
  • Make friends aware who you will be with, where you are going, what plans you have, and when to expect you back to your residence.
  • When you are uncomfortable with any touch, yell "NO", if he refuses, leave the area immediately; don't trust that he will stop if he refuses once.
  • Do Not sit in a parked vehicle
  • Please do be aware that clothing may arouse a man. Be judicious.
  • Do not prop or leave doors unlocked
  • Utilize the Department of Safety blue light emergency phones and escort services. Call 6005
  • Take a self defense course like R.A.D. It is offered free of charge at Messiah College.


  • DON'T EXPECT that just because you may have paid for a dinner, a movie, or anything else that you are entitled to sex, or sexual gratification.
  • IT IS NOT manly to force your date, a friend, or even a stranger to do something that she does not wish to do.
  • Be a real man and respect the female's wishes to stop.
  • Do you believe that all women "want it", and " no means yes". You're Wrong!!
  • If you struggle with control issues, anger management, or sexual issues, contact the Engle Center at 6035
  • Remember that sexual assault is a very serious crime.