Immediate Steps to Take if You are the Victim of Sexual Assault
Steps to take if you are the victim of sexual assault:
- It is recommended that you
- DO NOT:change clothing, comb hair or brush teeth;
- disturb the area where the crime occurred until medical or police investigation can be accomplished.
- If you want to report the crime, notify the police immediately at 914-769-2600 or call 911. Reporting the crime can help you regain a sense of personal control and can also help to ensure the safety of other potential victims.
- Call a friend, family member, or someone else you trust and ask her or him to stay with you.
- Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault and do not wash it. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag. Do not use plastic bags. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
- Go to a hospital emergency department for medical care and evidence gathering. You or County Police can contact your local Services to Aid Families sexual assault advocate to meet you at the hospital emergency room. Even if you think that you do not have any physical injuries, you should still have a medical examination and discuss with a health care provider the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and the possibility of pregnancy resulting from the sexual assault.
- If you suspect that you may have been given a date rape/predatory drug, ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample immediately. Date rape/predatory drugs, such as Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are more likely to be detected in the urine than in the blood.
- Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a physical description of the assailant.
- Talk with a counselor who is trained to assist rape victims about the emotional and physical impacts of the assault. You can contact the Westchester Community College’s Health, Wellness and Personal Counseling Center at 914-606-6610 for help and support.
(Written by SUNY Oswego)