Content Warning: This article discusses themes of sexual assault and rape.
Tulane, like many other large Universities, has an upsettingly high amount of yearly reported rape and sexual assault cases. Unfortunately, those cases are only a fraction of what occurs on campus, as many people feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and unsupported when attempting to seek help with handling their cases. Again and again, survivors at Tulane are forced to come to the harsh realization that Tulane fails at publicizing the programs and organizations that have been created to support survivors of assault and rape. Navigating assault is already traumatic and difficult enough, so finding resources shouldn’t add to that stress. This article offers a non-exhaustive list of resources, both on and off campus, that you might not know about. Hopefully these resources can be a reminder that there are always people available to help you in any struggle, no matter how big or small.
SAPHE – SAPHE, which stands for “Sexual Aggression Hotline & Education,” is a hotline which runs at all hours during the fall and spring semesters. It is completely run by Tulane students and is free to anybody on or off campus. SAPHE’s members are trained in “trauma informed care,” ensuring that every call is answered with the highest level of attentiveness. This resource is the perfect place if you are looking for someone who is in your age demographic and can not only listen to your story, but also empathize with you. SAPHE also ensures that every volunteer provides you with the proper support in seeking further help, whether it be resources for emotional counseling or legal help. This hotline comes entirely free to students and treats every case with discretion. The SAPHE organization also works to end rape culture at Tulane through workshops and outreach during the school year. You can reach the SAPHE volunteers at 504-654-9543, and also follow them on Instagram for updates on resources and their upcoming events.
RAINN – RAINN is the nation’s largest sexual assault hotline that runs 24/7, 365 days a year. RAINN is a free, confidential hotline that directly connects you with trained providers who stand up for and support victims of assault. This hotline is a resource to not only help you process the feelings you might have after being assaulted, but also connects you to legal services. RAINN also is an amazing resource to help educate yourself on the laws in your state that can either protect you or, unfortunately, complicate your situation. Their website is full of materials that outline the ways in which you can prevent and identify abusive relationships, as well as almost any topic spanning from how to handle grooming to understanding bystander intervention. RAINN is one of the most trusted resources for survivors of rape and sexual assault, and truly can help you in almost any situation you may find yourself in.
Boys Beware Tulane – Boys Beware Tulane is a private Instagram account that creates a space for female-identifying and non-binary students of Tulane to share their stories of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and any other uncomfortable situation that has happened in relation to their time at Tulane. Students must request to follow Boys Beware due to their efforts to ensure a discrete, private environment for people to share their stories, without fear of being ostracized or critiqued for speaking up. Boys Beware does not allow male-identifying students to follow their account, in an effort to protect the stories that have been shared on the account from being spread amongst men. Followers can direct message the account to share their thoughts and experiences and can decide the level of detail in which they describe these encounters. Boys Beware then anonymously posts these narratives (with a content warning) to allow followers to hear their stories. Not only does this account offer a space to be seen and heard as a survivor, but it also allows folks to feel safer by learning about allegations on campus. You can become involved with Boys Beware by requesting their account on Instagram, @boysbeware.tulane.
MaleSurvivor – MaleSurvivor is a male sexual assault and abuse healing community that encourages non-judgmental support, information, advocacy, and hope for survivors. MaleSurvivor connects men from over 200 countries and provides personalized support for registered members who desire guidance in navigating their trauma. Dialogue is facilitated through direct connection with therapists and survivors, whether through private sessions or online chat rooms and discussion boards. MaleSurvivor functions completely off donations in order to allow their users free access to help at any age or stage of life.
SURJ – SURJ, or Students United for Reproductive Justice, is a bit of an indirect resource for survivors of assault and rape. SURJ aims to allow Tulane students to get more connected with the greater New Orleans and Louisiana pro-choice community. SURJ is a member of the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, along with working with various other organizations who also advocate for intersectional reproductive justice. Though SURJ does not directly offer resources for survivors, the organization offers a safe space to discuss and reach solace through activism. SURJ often addresses topics of domestic violence and abuse, which can be extremely cathartic for survivors of rape and assault. You can join SURJ through Wavesync, or follow them on Instagram for information on programs they offer to the Tulane community.
TUPHE – TUPHE, Tulane University Peer Health Educators, is a program spearheaded by Tulane students who are passionate about advocating for “healthy choices” regarding the wellbeing of the community and individuals at Tulane. TUPHE offers workshops and events that aim to meet all the health needs of the Tulane community in an inclusive, innovative way. Students are encouraged to attend and engage with TUPHE events, regardless of their membership status, but can also become directly involved by applying for educator status. TUPHE directly helps sexual assault victims, as members of the organization are exposed to the “culture of public health and health policy” on college campuses, and can help navigate where to go for help with your experiences.
The MENtality Project – The MENtality Project is an organization which aims to educate and empower healthy masculinity. This organization is open to anybody, no matter their gender identity, but has many programs specifically geared towards male-identifying individuals who desire a space to learn, grow, and discuss topics regarding masculinity, health, safety, and many other topics. The MENtality Project offers an outlet to discuss questions and thoughts about anything from consent to health leadership. The MENtality Project has an in-depth list of resources available on their website to get involved with advocating for safe sex, as well as places for survivors to seek help. You can get directly involved with the MENtality Project through their website on Tulane’s Campus Health page.
Planned Parenthood – Planned Parenthood is a health care provider that aims to give people all the information and resources they need to make “informed decisions” about their bodies regarding sexual and reproductive health. Planned Parenthood is nationally recognized to be a reputable, science-based resource for anybody who needs help with anything from family planning options to STD tests. They also have comprehensive online education regarding the definition of things like consent, rape, and coercion, as well as a step-by-step list of actions you can take if you or someone you know thinks they have been assaulted or raped. This resource can be extremely helpful for survivors who recently have been harmed and need guidance in seeking out rape kits, and even offers surgical abortions in Louisiana up to five months after fertilization. Planned Parenthood ensures that their employees treat you with care and truly care about treating you as an individual who may need guidance in understanding what options are best for the future ahead of you.
TUPD– Tulane University’s Police Department is an option for reporting sexual assault and rape cases in which you would like to seek criminal justice. You can report crimes in person, over the phone, or on their website through an anonymous tip line. TUPD also offers Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D), which is a two-day, free course in which safety information and self-defense techniques are taught to assist in fending off a “would-be attacker.” You can reach TUPD over the phone at (504) 865-5911 for the Uptown district or (504) 988-5555 for the Downtown district.
Though this list is fairly short and does not address all of the resources that are available to you on and off campus, these spaces are wonderful places to start if you feel overwhelmed or lost. Even though it may feel like you are alone in your experiences, there are so many compassionate and understanding people in our student body, faculty, and staff that want to help you. If on-campus resources feel too overwhelming, remember that nation and world-wide services are always offered in some capacity. Most importantly, remember that your experiences are valid, and you deserve all the help you need to feel comfortable and safe at Tulane.
Cover Photo by Magdalena Saliba
Magdalena is a staff writer for Sex and the Crescent City, as well as a member of the photo and graphic design teams. She’s a sophomore double majoring in Art History and Studio Art. She loves shopping for cool pants, watching The Sopranos over and over again, and making pasta from scratch.