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Prevent Like a Bearcat: Sexual Assault: What It Is & Where To Get Support

Practical information about dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. What it is. What to do.

Sexual abuse/assault is common and affects many people. If you have experienced this, you are not alone. And healing is possible.


Sexual assault is a broad term that refers to a continuum of different kinds of sexual violence. Sexual assault includes a wide range of behaviors. Sexual assault/abuse can involve contact between people, but it doesn't have to. Some people experience sexual violence which involves no physical contact at all.

Sometimes, victim/survivors or their friends and family minimize what happened, especially if the assault or abuse was not physical. Regardless of the form that sexual abuse or assault takes, it can be very harmful and traumatic to the person who experienced it. Any form of sexual victimization can cause ...

Does this happen a lot?

Unfortunately, sexual violence of all kinds occurs frequently in Kentucky and the United States. College and university students can be at elevated risk of experiencing sexual abuse or assault. And LGBTQ+ and BIPOC students and those with intellectual disabilities may be at even high risk.  

In Kentucky, nearly half of all women have experience some form of sexual abuse or assault. And about 20% of men in Kentucky are victim/survivors of sexual violence. 

Located in Owensboro, Hartford, and Henderson, New Beginnings is an inclusive agency that provides services to anyone - victim/survivors, friends, or family - affected by sexual harm. All services are free and confidential.

Click here to go New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services' website.


The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) provides a wide range of information and support. Although KASAP does not provide crisis intervention or therapy, it offers a wide range of information and speaks with a unified voice about preventing and responding to sexual victimization.

Click here to see a map of all the sexual assault programs ("rape crisis centers") in Kentucky.

What are some examples of sexual victimization?

Sexual victimization can take different forms. Examples include

Physical contact       Non-physical contact

fondling                       child sexual abuse materials (child porn)

incest                           sextortion (blackmail releasing intimate images)

attempted rape            exhibitionism (showing genitals to others)

completed rape            voyeurism (watching others nude, sexual activity)

child sexual abuse       showing pornography to a child

sodomy                        human sex trafficking

Stalking, dating/domestic violence, and strangulation can intersect with sexual victimization and happen at the same time or within the same relationship.

Heal Like a Bearcat. You're worth it.

You are resilient.

Safety Planning

A safety plan is beneficial for many people who have experienced sexual abuse, harassment, or assault. Consider creating your own safety plan to increase your physical and emotional safety. 

Click here to learn more about making a safety plan for yourself. You can also learn more by clicking on the tab above - Safety Planning: Being Safer and Feeling Safer.