Below you will find definitions and answers to common questions regarding sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

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.

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. We also encourage you to speak with a counselor to help you cope with the physical and emotional effects of sexual assault.

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

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 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 Gender & Sexuality Resource Office: (308) 865-8751
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