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What To Do If I’ve Been Sexually Assaulted

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. You deserve to feel safe and supported. This information is to help you understand the options and rights available to you.

Sexual assault is any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will. Consent is mutual and informed! You cannot consent to any sexual activity while incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, while passed out, sleeping, or if you are unaware of what is going on.

If you are sexually assaulted:

  • Get to a safe place away from your perpetrator as soon as possible.
  • Call your local rape crisis center or victim service agency if you would like to obtain an advocate. Advocates may be present during any medical, police, or legal meeting. Advocates can help you navigate the medical and criminal justice systems as well as provide information and support.
  • If you are unsure of local resources, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network has phone and online hotlines available 24 hours a day - www.RAINN.org | 1-800-656-HOPE
  • Seek medical attention – even if no outward injuries exist, it is recommended that are examined by a medical professional. Forensic exams are done by specially trained nurses in the emergency room and are free for victims of sexual assault. (They do not have to go through the victim’s insurance.) Exams may preserve crucial evidence should you choose to report, though reporting to police is not necessary in order to have an exam completed. You can further preserve evidence by not bathing, washing your hands, eating, or smoking until the forensic exam has been completed.
  • Consider reporting to the police and/or your university.

Although the below suggestions are focused on immediate response, know there are a number of resources available to victims of crime even if the person chooses not to report or if the assault occurred in the past (such as during childhood, as a teenager, or years prior.) Victimization can have long-tem impact; it is never too late to connect with a counselor at your institution or victim service organization and find out what options are available to you.
 

Your Rights on Campus

  • To be safe and free from a hostile environment
  • To say “no” at any time
  • To take legal action when a crime is committed against you
  • To work with police, campus officials, and the prosecutor
  • To be notified of counseling and other support services from the college or university and local resources
  • To reasonable changes in academic and living situations
  • To the same opportunity as the accused to have others present in any institutional disciplinary proceeding
  • To unconditionally be notified of the final results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding
  • If you would like confidentiality, check your college or university’s sexual assault policy to see what confidential options are available.
  • Institutions may provide additional rights for students who are crime victims. Please see your school’s policies and procedures for more information.