Case Scenario

A local college student was sexually assaulted in the parking lot of the college she was attending. The perpetrator was someone she didn’t know well but had seen in one of her courses.

Following the assault, she experienced extreme fear, self-blame, embarrassment, panic, difficulty sleeping and depression. She felt angry at herself though she could not imagine how she could have avoided the assault.  Her friends were not supportive, and she felt blamed by their remarks. Others told her she was overreacting or that she may should have been more careful.

She stopped going to school altogether and  felt guilt that her parents were paying her tuition. She was afraid to see the perpetrator on campus or in any of her classes. When the semester ended, her parents asked to see her grades. She felt more fear, anxiety and distress when she realized she had to give her parents an explanation that they might not believe. Her parents did listen, but they urged her to return to school and file a police report.

She was not ready to return to school or to file a police report. She still suffered from the trauma symptoms and felt overwhelmed by the situation. She notices that she is consuming alcohol to the point of intoxication more and more frequently. She is beginning to miss days at her part-time job.

After consuming alcohol on a weekend night, she finds an RCS Fresno brochure and calls the 24-hour confidential crisis line printed on it.


  • Describe differences between procedural and ad hoc responses to an issue. 
  • Describe the process that advocates follow when answering crisis calls.
  • Why and to what extent are services confidential?
  • Why is a victim’s choice whether to report important?
  • Describe support options for the survivor if she chooses to report the sexual assault.
  • Describe the procedure controlling what occurs after a sexual assault is reported on campus.
    • This includes but not limited to reporting the day of assault, 1 or more years after the assault occurred, and if perpetrator is known or unknown.
  • Describe which Fresno county agencies can offer services for only as many of the following categories that you feel have reliable information:
    • Confidential consultation regarding sexual assault or other violence 
    • Student peer education
    • Campus bystander intervention education
    • Disabilities
    • Immigration status
    • Gender orientation and/or identification
    • Reproductive health
    • Sexual assault forensic exam
    • Child abuse and neglect
    • Legal consultation regarding civil matters (e.g. Landlord-tenant, family law, stalking, u-visa, etc.)
    • Housing
    • Medical
    • Vocational
    • Transportation
    • Food security
  • Explain your rationale for providing information for only those Fresno county agencies as you feel have reliable information.
  • Describe the procedure to follow for clients with issues in fields or areas for which you lack information and/or expertise.

RCS Fresno continues to receive similar calls through its 24-hour crisis line. As the only rape crisis center serving Fresno County.

Please email your responses to the questions to for review. Discussions will be scheduled next semester to consider best practices for response to this scenario.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know would like to speak to one our sexual assault counselors, please contact our 24-Hour Crisis Line at (559) 222-7273. RCS services are free and confidential!