This guide outlines steps you can take if you have been sexually assaulted.
1. Go to a safe place as soon as possible following an assault.
If sexual violence occurs, safety and medical assistance are the first considerations.
2. Seek medical assistance and preventative care.
Whether or not you want to press charges, you should go to the nearest emergency room right away. You may physical injuries that need attention. There are a few hospitals near campus: St. Joseph’s Hospital (979-776-3777) is located in Bryan at 2801 Franciscan Drive ,College Station Medical Center (979-764-5100) is located in College Station at 1604 Rock Prairie Road, and St Joseph's College Station ER 4411 Hwy 6 South College Station, TX 77845 (979.776.2479)
At the hospital a sexual assault examination (also known as a forensic examination) can be conducted to collect evidence frrom your sexual assault. It will still be your decision whether or not to press charges, butb the eveidence collected will be kept in case you decide to prosecute later. This evidence includes the clothing you were wearing during the assault, so bring a change of clothes.
If you decide to file a police report, a detective will come to the emergency room to talk with you. You don't have to be alone- a sexual assault response advocate from the Sexual Assault Resource Center can be called to be with you and support you (979.731.1000)
It’s important to preserve any physical evidence of the assault, so you should go to the hospital as soon as possible. Don’t shower, bathe, brush your teeth, use the toilet, or change clothes. Don’t wash any clothing or bedding. The longer you wait, the harder it is to collect evidence. However, physical evidence, including traces of any drugs, may be present as long as 96 hours after. If you remove any clothing or bedding, place it in a paper bag to give to the police.
3. Consider seeking psychological counseling or other support.
Healing from a sexual assault is an individual process and can be a long journey. Some things that can affect your response to an assault include past trauma or sexual assault experiences, your coping skills and support network, and your relationship with your attacker. Common reactions include:
- Emotional numbness and shock
- Denial and anger
- Loss of control and powerlessness
- Self blame and guilt
- Shame and embarrassment
- Hopelessness and depression
- Fear and anxiety
- Isolation and social withdrawal
- Relationship and trust difficulties
- Sleep disturbances
- Flashbacks and assault memories
It can be helpful to seek support and counseling from Student Counseling Services. http://scs.tamu.edu (979.845.4427)
There are many additional services available on campus and in the community to support survivors. Call Student Assistance Services 979-845-3113 or reference the Sexual Violence Survivor Resource Guide for a list of service providers.
4. Seek assistance from a survivor’s resource
Advocates can meet with you or talk with you on the phone to provide options about police reporting, medical and counseling services, student conduct options, and a variety of other resources. Call Student Assistance Services 979-845-3113 or reference the Sexual Violence Survivor Resource Guide for a list of advocacy agencies.
5. Explore legal options with the relevant police department
Even if you aren’t sure whether you want to press charges, you can file an anonymous (“Jane/John Doe”) report with the police just in case. If you’re off campus, dial 911 for the police; on campus, dial 9-911 or (979) 845-2345.
6. Explore University disciplinary options with Student Conduct Services.
The student conduct process is separate from any criminal investigation that may occur, and you can file an incident report regardless of whether you pursue criminal charges. Texas A&M University does not require the same type of physical evidence to file a complaint as the legal system, and the incident can have happened either on or off campus. For more information or to submit a report contact Student Conduct Resolution Services at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/scrsor call (979-847-7272).