What to do if you are sexually assaulted
- Get to a safe place.
- Call Crisis Services’ 24-hour support at 834-3131 (Erie County’s Rape Crisis Center). Service is free and confidential.
- Get to a hospital.
- Call someone you trust.
- To preserve the best evidence, try not to bathe, douche, comb your hair, change clothing, or disturb the area in which the crime occurred. If you do do these things medical evidence can still be preserved so it is still recommended to go to the hospital.
- Seek medical attention at your local Emergency Room. University Police can arrange for transportation if you need it.
- Crisis Services can provide an advocate to meet you at the hospital, and provide support, assistance, and make sure you know your rights and your options.
- Even if you have no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risk of STIs and pregnancy.
- There is a small window of time to receive medication to prevent HIV, STIs, and pregnancy as well as a Code-R Kit, so getting to a hospital after an assault is important.
- It is your choice to preserve forensic evidence at the hospital, with a trained SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse who will conduct a rape kit exam. You can collect the evidence at the hospital and decide later to press charges or not.
Options for Reporting a Sexual Assault:
- It is your choice to file a police report or not.
- You can file a report and decide later to press charges or not. NY State lifted the statute of limitations for all sexual crimes taking place on or after June 23rd 2006.
- You can file the report with UB police, or with the jurisdiction that the assault happened in.
- Call Crisis Services if you would like an advocate to be with you. They will explain your options and how the process works.
- While UB encourages students to report any and all assaults, reporting an assault does not mean that you must prosecute.
- You can file a direct report, a proxy report, or a third party report. Information about reporting through UB Police is located here.
- Female officers are available upon request.
It is your right:
- To have all incident and medical records kept strictly confidential.
- To be treated without prejudice regarding race, class, lifestyle, sexual orientation, gender, age, occupation, and/or religious beliefs.
- To be made aware of and receive medical treatment, psychological support, and legal counseling.
- To prosecute or not to prosecute.
- To answer only those questions that are relevant to the crime.
- To have an advocate present with you at the hospital, police station, and court proceedings.
- A sexual assault is never the victim’s fault; the assailant is responsible for the assault, not the victim.
- It doesn’t matter what you did or did not do during the assault.
- Every rape situation is different.
- Victims react in various ways to a sexual assault.
- While some people resist, others do not due to fear, self-blame, or unwillingness to hurt someone they know.
- Consider professional counseling.
- Healing from rape and sexual assault takes time. Give yourself the time you need. It is never too late to seek support. Many survivors do not seek support until months or years later.
- You don’t have to cope with an assault on your own. Talk with someone with whom you feel comfortable about what happened to you.
- There are many support services at UB and in the surrounding area to help you get through it. Crisis Services Advocate program offers free and confidential short and long term counseling for survivors of sexual assault.
What to do if someone you love has been sexually assaulted:
- Listen, support and believe someone when the disclose to you they have been sexually assaulted.
- Reinforce that the assault was not her/his fault.
- Encourage her/him to receive medical care, and to preserve evidence.
- Do not judge them for whatever situation they were in, the assault is not they fault.
- Encourage her/him to seek psychological and legal help, but let her/him make her/his own decisions.
- Get help for yourself, but respect her/his privacy.