Women's Center

Consent is BAE, #WCTOMEThe Women's Center is a part of the Student Health and Counseling Department, and offers the following services to all students:

  • campus and community-wide programming and education on gender equality
  • access to resources, a safe place to voice concerns/questions/ideas
  • a safe space for LGBTQIA+ community and advocates
  • counseling by a licensed mental health counselor
  • referrals to community and campus resources
  • central point of contact for survivors of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, or domestic abuse

For more up-to-date information on current programming and events, follow us on Twitter @WomensCenterUNK or like us on Facebook!

What We Do

Bystander Intervention

No More Silence

Creating a campus culture in which our students feel safe is imperative to our students’ academic and personal success. Lopers look out for one another by being active bystanders. The Women’s Center works collaboratively with both the UNK Health Promotion office and UNK Counseling to teach students how to get help or how to intervene in risky situations. We are proud of our students for supporting each other’s well-being, by safely confronting behaviors that are disrespectful or potentially harmful. Staff members in the Women’s Center and Health Education office have been trained in the Bringing in the Bystander approach to bystander intervention. Please contact us at womenscenter@unk.edu for more information.

What is sexual assault?

Conduct of indecent or sexual nature towards another person, accompanied by actual or threatening physical force upon a person without consent. Or, it is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent due to age, physical, or mental incapacity.

How does the Women's Center help survivors?

The way I dress is not a yes, #WCTOMEThe Women's Center staff is prepared to help students that need guidance or simply need answers to their questions. The Women's Center is connected to many different resources on campus and in the community to give survivors the support and care they may need. Our office can connect survivors with services in UNK Counseling, the Kearney S.A.F.E. Center, or refer to Title IX for reporting options. A victim advocate from the S.A.F.E. Center is available to meet confidentially with students at the Women's Center. If you would like to speak with the victim advocate, email us to set up an appointment at womenscenter@unk.edu

How does the Women's Center help prevent sexual assault on our campus?

The Women's Center collaborates with different offices, student organizations, and clubs to educate students on the realities of sexual assault and give guidance as to how to intervene in these situations. The Women's Center chooses programs that will engage students to educate and empower them to help prevent sexual assault on our campus. 

What should I do if I have been, or know someone who, has been sexually assaulted?

It is always up to the survivor what resources they would like to utilize. We recommend receiving a medical exam after an assault, to consult with a nurse or doctor about related issues, even if there are no visible physical wounds. The Family Advocacy Network (FAN) in Kearney provides medical exams to survivors.

Family Advocacy Network (FAN): (308) 865-7492 
UNK Student Health: (308) 865-8218
Good Samaritan Hospital: (308) 865-7100

If you would like to discuss options for pursuing an investigation or pressing charges, please contact the UNK Campus Police or Kearney Police Department. You can also contact the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit at the Kearney Police Department.

UNK Police Department: (308) 865-8911
Kearney Police Department: (308) 237-2104
If you are in immediate danger please call 911.

Sexual assault can be a highly traumatic event. We encourage you to speak to someone about what happened. The Women's Center staff is here to comfort, help, and answer any questions you may have. We also encourage you to speak with a counselor to help you cope with the physical and emotional effects of sexual assault.

A Client Advocate, from the S.A.F.E. Center, is available every Friday, from 9:30 am-12 pm in the UNK Women's Center. The advocate is a confidential source for support and connections with resources.

UNK Counseling: (308) 865-8248
S.A.F.E. Center: (308) 237-2599

For more information on how to help a friend or loved one, please visit: https://www.rainn.org/articles/tips-talking-survivors-sexual-assault

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, we encourage you to contact us at womenscenter@unk.edu or (308) 865-8279. We believe you. 

What is dating (domestic) violence?

Relationship violence or dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. 

What are some behaviors commonly found in abusive relationships?

There are many different types of relationship abuse and many different ways that an abuser may try to exert power over another. 

  • Emotional abuse: calling names, yelling and screaming, verbal threats to harm you or people you care about, preventing you from seeing other friends or family, telling you what to do or wear, making you feel guilty or immature when you do not consent to a sexual activity
  • Physical abuse: any type of physical violence used against a victim. Grabbing your face to force you to look at them, forcing you to have sex or perform sexual acts, and using any type of weapon are also forms of physical abuse.
  • Financial abuse: constricting your financial freedoms in any way. This may include not permitting you to work or limiting your hours, hiding or stealing your income of any kind, or using your credit cards without permission.
  • Sexual abuse: any form of unwanted sexual contact. This may include unwanted kissing or touching, rape, refusing to use condoms or other forms of birth control, threatening unwanted sexual activity, or forbidding a victim from protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections. 
  • Cyber abuse: any form of control or exploitation through technology. This may include not allowing you to friend people on Facebook or follow someone on Twitter, constantly texting or calling, tracking you using GPS, forcing you to send explicit photos, stealing passwords, or going through your phone often.

What does the Women's Center do to prevent dating violence on our campus?

Stop the Violence. #WCTOMEThe Women's Center collaborates with other offices, student organizations, and clubs to educate and empower students to prevent dating violence. Our office also provides healthy relationship presentations to undergraduate classes, educating students on the warning signs of dating violence, coercive control, stalking and what a healthy relationship looks like.

What should I do if I or someone I know is experiencing relationship violence?

If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship violence, find a trusted person you can talk to. The most important step is finding someone you can confide in that can help you. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, please call 911. 

If you do not feel comfortable telling someone in your life, you can always reach out to campus and community services that provide counseling and resources for relationship violence.

UNK Women's Center: (308) 865-8279
UNK Counseling: (308) 865-8248
S.A.F.E. Center: (308) 237-2599 
Family Advocacy Center (FAN): (308) 865-7492

If you want to contact authorities or take legal action, please contact campus police or the community police.

UNK Police Department: (308) 865-8911
Kearney Police Department: (308) 237-2104

What is stalking?

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, stalking is defined as "a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact or any other conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear."

What are stalking behaviors?

Since stalkers are often someone you know, stalking behaviors may not seem odd or make you uncomfortable in the beginning. Stalking behaviors often escalate rapidly; it is necessary to be vigilant and look out for things that make you uncomfortable. 

Stalking behaviors may include showing up at your work or other places you go on a regular basis, repeated phone calls, sending unwanted gifts, Internet stalking, contacting friends and family to get to you, destruction of your property, violence, including threats of violence, and constant, unwanted contact of any kind. 

What should I do if I or someone I know is being stalked?

If you feel like you or your friend is in immediate danger, call 911. 

A great tool to use when dealing with a stalker is to keep a stalking incident log. Because stalking is a hard crime to prosecute, a log can help prove the frequency and duration of these behaviors. A log can also help reassure the victim that these behaviors are not normal. It is best to also save anything a stalker may send you. Keep any letters or notes from the person and also any communication via technology. If friends or family also witness any of these behaviors, have them also write in the log.

It is also best to make a safety plan in the case that they follow you home or show up somewhere abruptly and you are in danger. Telling family members, employers, and friends can help to make the people in your life aware of the situation.

The best way to end these behaviors is to get police involved.

UNK Police Department: (308) 865-8911
Kearney Police Department: (308) 237-2104 

Additional resources and information

What is human trafficking?

"Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state, including Nebraska. The NHTRC works closely with service providers, law enforcement, and other professionals in Nebraska to serve victims and survivors of trafficking, respond to human trafficking cases, and share information and resources."  Taken from The National Human Trafficking Hotline

For more information and resources about human trafficking, please visit the following websites:

National Human Trafficking Hotline: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/state/nebraska

Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force: https://ago.nebraska.gov/combatting-human-trafficking

The Women's Center is a safe space for all students, including LGBTQ students. The Women's Center is an ally for the LGBTQ community Lavender Graduation pictureand actively advocates for the inclusion of all students. At the end of the spring semester each year, the Women's Center hosts a Lavender Graduation reception, to honor and to celebrate, the accomplishments of our LGBTQ students who are graduating. For more information about the origin of Lavender Graduation, please visit: https://www.hrc.org/resources/lavender-graduation

The Women's Center engages male students as allies in                                      preventing gender violence,Men's Project logo through the UNK Men's Project. The Men's Project consists of students, identifying as male, who are viewed as leaders on our campus and in our community.  Participants meet weekly for eleven weeks during the spring semester. to self-reflect on and discuss issues such as: toxic masculinity, male privilege, dating violence, rape culture, and other related topics. Participants are chosen through a nomination process. For more information, please email the Women's Center at womenscenter@unk.edu

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will, or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.