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Advice for Victims of Sexual Assault

Get medical care. Have someone take you to the nearest hospital. It is important that you have treatment for any injuries. It is also important that all physical evidence be obtained as soon as possible after the assault. Do not bathe, change clothes, or throw any clothes away.

Call the police. Sexual assault is a crime. Law enforcement personnel can take a report at the hospital. It is critical that all information and evidence be obtained as soon as possible. Victims do not need to make the decision to press charges at the time of the report, deferring that decision until later.

Obtain professional support. Victims of sexual assault often feel fear, guilt, anger, or grief. You need to obtain support from a professional to deal with both the physical and psychological trauma that you have experienced. As an initital contact, the nurses in the emergency room will call an advocate from the Women's Center to help you through this difficult time.

Seek follow-up care. In cases of sexual assault, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are often an overwhelming and genuine fear. The health care providers will discuss treatment options with you and refer you to reproductive health services.

81% of women and 35% of men report significant short-term or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Depression and anxiety are amongst the mental health problems that could follow a victim.