What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
People who have been sexually assaulted react in many different ways — there is no right or wrong reaction. Listed here are some important things to consider. Even if your assault happened days, weeks, or months ago, it is not too late — or less important — for you to seek help and start your healing process.
- Get to a safe place as soon as you can. If the assailant poses an immediate danger to you or anyone else, alert the police as soon as possible.
- Once you are safe, contact someone you trust to be with you for support. This could be a friend, family member, a resident assistant or a trained and licensed coordinator from the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education (CARE).
- If you want support from a confidential source, contact CARE at 785-532-6444.
- You may also call CARE for assistance 24 hours a day at 785-532-6444 or the Office of Student Life 24 hours a day at 785-532-6432.
- Try to preserve all physical evidence, even if you don’t know if you want to report the assault or press charges.
- Do not eat, drink, bathe, shower, wash your hands, use the toilet or brush your teeth.
- Don't change your clothes if possible, but if you need to change, put all of the clothes you were wearing in a paper bag and bring them with you to your medical exam.
- Take a minute to write down everything you remember about the assault, including a description of the assailant.
- You should seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (women may also be at risk for pregnancy). Specially trained medical professionals can perform a post-sexual assault exam at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan through a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
- Contact the police to report the assault. Please consider the additional information regarding what to expect when filing a report with law enforcement.
- Seek emotional support to help sort out your feelings about the assault. Confidential counseling services are available for students by appointment from Counseling Services.
- Consider other available options for support and further action, including assistance from the University and the community.
*Web content on this page was borrowed with permission from Purdue University.