If you are in danger or need medical care, call 9-1-1. If you can, get away from the person who assaulted you and get to a safe place as fast as you can.
If you have been physically assaulted or raped, there are other important steps you can take right away:
- Save everything that might have the attacker’s DNA on it. As hard as it may be to not wash up, you might wash away important evidence if you do. Don’t brush, comb, or clean any part of your body. Don’t change clothes, if possible. Don’t touch or change anything at the scene of the assault. That way the local police will have physical evidence from the person who assaulted you.
- Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined and treated for injuries. You can be given medicine to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) can help you find a hospital able to collect evidence of sexual assault. Ask for a sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) . A doctor or nurse will use a rape kit to collect evidence. This might be fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing left behind by the attacker. You do not have to decide whether to press charges while at the hospital.
If you think you were drugged, talk to the hospital staff about being tested for date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and other drugs. Truman Health Center nurses are authorized to administerÂ rape kits!Â
- Reach out for help. Call a friend or family member you trust, or call a crisis center or hotline. Crisis centers and hotlines have trained volunteers and counselors who can help you find support and resources near you. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are in the military, you may also call the DoD Safe Helpline at 877-995-5246.
- Report the sexual assault to the police: Call 911. If you want to talk to someone first about reporting the assault, you can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). A counselor can help you understand how to report the crime. Even though these calls are free, they may appear on your phone bill. If you think that the person who sexually assaulted you may check your phone bill, try to call from a friend’s phone or a public phone. You do not have to PROSECUTE an offenderÂ to make a REPORT. Please make a report so you have the option to persecute should you choose!
- Write down the details about the person who sexually assaulted you and what happened. This may be difficult to do but will help you if you wish to persecute the assault.Â