Information provided by Mahaska Health Partnership to enhance education of assault in a Yes is Yes campaign
College is an opportunity to have new experiences, meet people and socialize in new ways. These experiences can also put you in unfamiliar situations so it’s important to know how to recognize and protect yourself from sexual assault.
Sexual assault is any type of forced or coerced sexual contact or behavior that happens without consent. Sometimes victims may wonder if they simply don’t remember an experience clearly. If you don’t remember saying yes, it’s the same as saying no.
Family Nurse Practitioner Diane Nutter suggests ways students can protect themselves in social situations:
- Travel with trusted friends: arrive together, check in on each other and leave together.
- Know your limits: alcohol can be tempting and if you’re of age, it’s legal. However, different beverages can have different effects on a person so it’s important to consume responsibly.
- Stay aware: of the people you are around as well as your personal belongings and drinks. If you go to the restroom, ask a trusted friend to watch out for your things.
- Trust your gut: if a new friend makes you uncomfortable or you just have a funny feeling, get out and go someplace safe.
Diane stresses with all students that if you don’t feel safe with your partner or a situation, get out immediately. If an assault does occur, know it’s not your fault! There are many people on campus and at Mahaska Health Partnership who can help you.
Although it might be difficult, please report the assault right away. Do not shower or remove clothing, do not brush your teeth or clean the scene until you have been seen by a medical professional.
The William Penn Health Center is open on campus Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, and Fridays, 8:30 am to Noon, through Spring Break. After Spring Break, the health center will be closed on Fridays. At the Mahaska Health Partnership Emergency Department, nurses are specially trained in assisting victims of sexual assault, collecting necessary evidence while being sensitive and supportive.
Family Nurse Practitioner Diane Nutter practices at the William Penn Health Center; offering primary care for routine health as well as illness and injury diagnosis and treatment.