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Self Help

Date Rape: What should I do if sexual assault occurs?


The single most important thing you can do after being raped or assaulted is organize support for yourself. Date, or acquaintance rape, is a violation of your body and your trust, and it is important to take it seriously. This involves talking to someone ­ a friend, rape crisis counselor, RD, chaplain, or police ­ about the incident.

The counselors at the Engle Center are here to support you after-hours as well as during the normal hours our office is open. In addition to providing counseling we can also act as your advocate and are available to accompany you to the hospital, or be present with you should you decide to speak with the police. Be assured that Counseling Services will respect your privacy and maintain your confidentiality. If you call our office during regular business hours, don't hesitate to let the secretary know that you have an emergency and need to see someone as soon as possible. To contact a counselor after normal office hours, your RD or the college Dispatch Office can connect you to the counselor on-call. Check out our Emergency Contacts page for information on how to connect to on-campus as well as off-campus sources of support.

Because sexual assault and rape can cause physical injury, medical attention should be sought as soon after the incident as possible. Medical attention can help identify any internal injuries and allay fears of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Don't change your clothes, shower, douche or apply medication before going to the hospital. If you have already taken your clothes off, place them in a paper (not plastic) bag and bring them to the hospital. Also, if possible, take a change of clothes with you to the emergency room. These guidelines ensure that evidence can be gathered and preserved in case you decide to prosecute. Seeking medical attention does not mean that you have to press charges or talk to the police. However, if you choose to press charges later, the evidence will be there. Check out our Emergency Contacts page for information on local hospitals that provide specialized support for victims of sexual assault.

    To learn more, please browse our information on Date Rape: