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December 11, 2014, Message from the VP of Campus Life

Reports of sexual assault in our community—as recent as this week—underscore our concern about this troubling problem and the dimensions of our challenge. AU is committed to educating community members about sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct and to providing support and guidance to students who experience this trauma. The university is also compliant with the Clery Reporting Act in providing notifications to the university community when these incidents occur on campus—via AU’s Crime Alerts website and postings throughout the residence halls.

Sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault. While some safety strategies, such as traveling in groups and trusting your instincts, may help reduce your likelihood of being victimized, the only person that can prevent sexual assault is the perpetrator.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Nine out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance.
  • Perpetrators often use alcohol or other drugs as tools to commit sexual violence.
  • Intimidating stares, degrading jokes or body language, boundary violations, strong beliefs in sex/gender role stereotypes, and a history of violent behavior are red flags.


  • Non-consensual sex will not be ignored or condoned at AU.
  • Students found responsible for sexual misconduct can be sanctioned with penalties that include suspension or expulsion from American University, and they may be subject to criminal charges.

AU maintains a comprehensive list of resources (on- and off-campus) for survivors of sexual assault including:

  • AU Wellness Center staff (Confidential Resources: Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator and the Coordinator of Victim Advocacy Services);
  • Housing & Dining Programs residence hall staff (resident assistants and resident directors);
  • Dean of Students Office staff;
  • AU Counseling Center staff (Confidential Resource);
  • University Chaplains at Kay Spiritual Life Center (Confidential Resource); and
  • AU Public Safety

The resources listed on this website are available to students, faculty, and staff.

It takes all of us, working together, to stop sexual assault in our community.