What if I have been Sexually Assaulted?

1. If you've been sexually assaulted, first and foremost, you need to get to a safe place, preferably with friends, family, or others you can trust. Other people can be a big support and help you get the help you need. Even though you may want to change your clothes or shower, think about reporting the assault before doing so. It is more difficult for a hospital or clinic to gather evidence if you've showered, bathed, changed your clothes, urinated, defecated, or brushed your teeth. Medical help is important to be sure that you are physically okay, to gather evidence should you want to report the crime, and to protect you from sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy. You have up to 72 hours after the assault to take prophylactic medication to prevent some sexually transmitted infections and up to 120 hours to prevent pregnancy (if a concern). The physical evidence of an assault is most effectively collected within the first 24-48 hours of the assault, but some evidence may be collected for up to 72 hours.

2. Your personal physician, the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City (319-337-2111 or 800-848-7684), Unity Point St. Luke's ER (369-7105) and Mercy ER (398-6041) in Cedar Rapids all provide services to victims of sexual assault. Hospital emergency rooms do not charge for medical exams for victims of sexual assault.

3. Once you are safe physically and medically, you may want to consider your options for reporting the assault. Sexual assault is a crime and you have options on campus and through the Iowa legal system. The links below contain information about these options.

4. Consider seeking counseling to help cope with the trauma of the assault and your feelings related to it. Counselors on and off campus are available to you, as are 24-hour hotlines.

Additional information