What To Do If You're Assaulted
Go to a safe place.
If you or anyone remains in physical danger call 911.
Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, wash your hands, or brush your teeth until after you have had a medical examination. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag. Do not use plastic bags. Do not clean or disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
Get medical care as soon as possible. Go to a hospital emergency department or a specialized forensic clinic that provides treatment for sexual assault victims. Collection of evidence is best done within 120 hours of an assault. Testing can be done by a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) through St. Vincent Hospital Pager: 704-2373). Even if you think that you do not have any physical injuries, you should still have a medical exam and discuss with a health care provider the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections and the possibility of pregnancy resulting from the sexual assault. For concerns about sexually transmitted disease (STD) or pregnancy, contact your health care provider or the UW-Green Bay Counseling and Health Center 465-2380. If you suspect that you may have been given a rape drug, ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample. Drugs, such as Rohypnol and GHB, are more likely to be detected in urine than in blood.
Contact a friend, family member or someone else you trust who can be with you and give you support.
Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a description of the assailant.
Get information whenever you have questions or concerns. After a sexual assault, you have a lot of choices and decisions to make - e.g., about getting medical care, making a police report, and telling other people. You may have concerns about the impact of the assault and the reactions of friends and family members. Talk with a counselor who is trained to assist rape victims. Counseling can help you learn how to cope with the emotional and physical impacts of the assault. You can get information by contacting UW-Green Bay Counseling and Health Center at 920-465-2380 or the Sexual Assault Center 920-436-8899.
Common Feelings after Being Sexually Assaulted
Sexual assault is a traumatic event, and we all handle traumatic events in different ways. Though each person and situation is unique, the following list summarizes the possible range of reactions to sexual assault. This list may help you know what's normal to expect.
- Emotional shock: I feel so numb. Why am I so calm? Why can’t I cry?
- Disbelief or denial: Did it really happen? Why me? Maybe I imagined it. It wasn’t really a sexual assault.
- Embarrassment: What will people think? I can’t tell my family or friends.
- Shame: I feel so dirty, like there is something wrong with me. I want to wash my hands or shower all the time. I feel like I have brought shame to my family.
- Guilt: I feel as if it’s my fault, or I did something to make this happen. If only I had done something different.
- Depression: How am I going to get through this semester? I’m so tired. I feel so helpless.
- Suicidal thoughts: Maybe I'd be better off dead.
- Powerlessness: Will I ever feel in control again?
- Disorientation: I don’t even know what day it is, or what class I’m supposed to be in. I can’t remember my appointments. I keep forgetting things.
- Triggers and flashbacks: I’m still re-living it. I keep seeing that face all the time.
- Fear: I’m scared of everything. What if I’m pregnant? Could I get a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or even HIV? How can I ever feel safe again? Do people realize there’s anything wrong? I can’t sleep because I know I'll have nightmares. I’m afraid I'm going crazy. I’m afraid to go outside. I'm afraid to be alone.
- Anxiety: I’m having panic attacks. I can’t breathe! I just can’t stop shaking. I can’t sit still in class anymore. I feel overwhelmed.
- Anger: I want to kill the person who attacked me!
- Physical stress: My stomach (or head or back) aches all the time. I feel jittery and don’t feel like eating.
Adapted from University of Texas Counseling and Health Center
Remember, you are not to blame, even if…
- The perpetrator was an acquaintance, date, friend, or spouse.
- You have been sexually intimate with the perpetrator or with others before.
- You were drinking or using drugs.
- You froze and did not or could not say “no,” or were unable to fight back physically.
- You were wearing clothes that others could perceive as seductive.
Regardless of the circumstances, sexual assault is not your fault.
Adapted from UHS Website @UW- Madison 7/14
Who to Contact
Brown County Public Safety Communication Center
Counseling and Health Center
Sexual Assault Coordinator
Dean of Students Office/Title IX Coordinator
Public Safety (24 hrs)
Assistant Director for Affirmative Action
Sexual Assault Center (24hrs)
Family Violence Center (24hrs)
Crisis Center (24hrs)
St. Vincent SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)