Get Help - For Myself
What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
Get to a safe location.
If you are unsure where to go or can think of nowhere that is safe for you at this time, please consider calling ISU Police (812-237-5555) or 911 or The Council On Domestic Abuse (CODA) 812-232-1736 or 1-800-566-2632.
Consider asking a trusted friend or relative to be with you for support.
Seek medical care as soon as possible.
You may need to receive basic medical treatment for injuries, and you may have injuries of which you are not aware at this time. You also may be at risk of acquiring a sexual transmitted infection (and women may also be at risk for pregnancy). Trained staff at the local emergency rooms can speak with you about all of the medical options available at this time.
Consider calling a member of the Sexual Violence Response Team (SVRT).
SVRT members work closely with campus resources and may assist you in determining what, if any, steps you wish to take. They can put you in touch with the University Police, Student Counseling Center, as well as off-campus resources.
You may choose to file a report with University Police or local police.
Reporting the attack does not require that you file criminal charges, but rather, it puts in place support systems that you may choose to use.
Preserve all evidence of the attack.
If you choose to file a report with the police, it is important that you:
- Do not bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, drink, eat, or even use the restroom—all these things can destroy evidence that may be helpful in a criminal investigation; However, if you have done any of these things since the attack, evidence can still be collected
- Do not clean or remove anything from the location where the attack occurred
- Write down as much as you can recall about the attack and the perpetrator
Please seek some form of emotional support.
While taking care of your physical needs may be the first step in taking care of yourself, it is important not to neglect the emotions you may be experiencing as a result of the assault. The Student Counseling Center has staff that is specially trained to assist students with recovery and healing.
It is your choice to determine when and in what manner you recover from your trauma. Give yourself the time you need and know that it is never too late to get help.
Know that what happened was not your fault.
While society tends to focus on female survivors, men are also victims of sexual assault. In fact, 1 in 6 men are survivors of sexual assault.¹ Sexual assault is devastating to all victims, regardless of gender.
As a man, there are special issues that may be different for you. For example, you may be reluctant to be examined by a medical professional or you may hesitate to report the assault to law enforcement officials for fear of ridicule or fear that they won't believe you. The same feelings apply to telling other people you know and to finding appropriate resources and support. In addition, you may be feeling some doubt about your masculinity or sexuality. Remember, sexual assault is a crime of violence and power, not sex. You have done nothing to justify this attack.
It is important for you to know that you are not alone. There are several forms of help available to you, both on-campus and in the community. This is true even if you experienced the assault when you were very young and only now are realizing that you need help. For on-campus resources, please contact the Student Counseling Center or a member of the Sexual Violence Response Team (SVRT).
The following online resources may also be helpful:
Sexual assault is devastating to all victims, regardless of gender, gender identification or sexual orientation. In addition to the fears and concerns that any survivor of sexual assault may have, you may have some that are specifically related to being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning. These concerns may not only be about what occurred during the assault, but how you will be treated by the health care and justice systems, your friends, family, and if you are in a relationship, your partner.
Some issues you may be dealing with include:
- Fear of disclosure to friends, family and/or employees.
- Fear that your sexual orientation or gender identification will be seen as your central "issue" to health care providers, instead of the assault.
- Concerns that your case will not be taken seriously because of your sexual orientation or gender identification.
- Questioning your sexual orientation or gender identification after the assault.
- Feelings of vulnerability, guilt or self-blame.
It may be helpful to know that you will not be required to disclose your sexual orientation to anyone, unless you choose to do so. Regardless of how you feel about your sexuality - still questioning, closeted, or totally "out" - you are entitled to the same sensitive treatment heterosexual survivors should receive.
If you suspect or know that the assailant knew you were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, you may want to report the assailant to the Hate Crime National Hotline 206-350-HATE (4283).
Above all, it is important to remember that the assault is not your fault. This may be hard to acknowledge if you are coming to terms with your sexuality or gender identification, or if the assailant indicated that he/she knew of your orientation. Remember, you have the right to services that are non-judgmental and to surround yourself with those who can emotionally support you through the healing process. There are on-campus resources that can help. Call the Student Counseling Center (812-237-3939) or contact a member of the Sexual Violence Response Team (SVRT).
These online resources may also be helpful: