If you are the victim of sexual assault:
- Get to a safe place. Remove yourself from danger immediately. Safe places could include the Counseling Center (during hours of operation) or the office of public safety.
- Call Public Safety (x6666 on campus)
- Reach out to someone who can support you, whether it be a counselor, a family member, friend or your Community Assistant.
- Use your resources on campus:
- Counseling Center - (410) 532-5384
- Public Safety - (410) 435-0100 or x6666 from campus in case of an emergency
- Division of Student Life- (410) 532- 5308
- Center for Campus Ministry and Service – (410) 532-5574
- Off-campus resources- You may also contact TurnAround, which is a domestic violence and sexual assault center in Baltimore, MD. Their 24-hour hotline is 443-279-0379.
Seek Medical Attention:
- It is important for your health to have a medical exam to check for injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy. You can go to the emergency room at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) or Mercy Hospital and have the Student Life Professional on Duty escort you to the hospital from campus.
- If you choose to report to the police, you may be asked to have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) performed at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. In order for the best evidence to be collected, do not shower, bathe, go to the bathroom, douche, smoke, eat, drink, brush teeth or hair, or change clothes between the time of the incident and the time of the SAFE exam. If you let the division of student life know you are going to the hospital by alerting your CA, the Student Life Professional on Duty can escort you to the hospital. Even if you have not decided whether or not you will report the assault to the police, you may still have a SAFE exam.
Find a Safe Space to Talk:
- It is understandable to find it difficult to think about talking about sexual assault after it has happened to you. Though it can be hard, it is extremely helpful to talk about the incident with someone you trust. Sexual assault can be traumatic and talking helps to work through the trauma.
- You may choose to tell a friend or family member about the incident or someone who works at the university. Counseling Center Clinical staff and medical staff are required to keep things confidential. Other division of student life team members, faculty or staff may need to share information about the incident in order to keep the campus community safe. You should check with the staff person to see how they may handle matters of confidentiality.
Self-Care after a Sexual Assault
- Be sure to take advantage of your support system of family or friends, care for your body, avoid drinking and drug use and participate in activities you enjoy. Physical activity can be particularly helpful in self-care.
- It is normal to experience lots of feelings and sensations. You might feel guilty, sad, hopeless, numb, overwhelmed, worthless, depressed, anxious or even experience suicidal thoughts. Remember you are not to blame!
- Sexual assault is often a traumatizing experience, and these feelings are all a natural reaction to trauma. You may experience some Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) flashbacks, have nightmares, sleep problems, panic attacks, or other extreme symptoms. Please seek counseling to address any of these symptoms. Call the Counseling Center at (410)532-5384 to schedule an appointment on campus or to learn about other resources that may be available.
Adapted from the website of Goucher College.