Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Sexual Assault Survivor Resources

Immediate Action

What To Do If YOU Have Been The Victim Of Sexual Assault

FIRST - GET to a SAFE PLACE. Get away quickly. Call 9-1-1 or Campus Safety.

Things you need to think about:


Preserving any physical evidence will help with your case.

Even if you're not sure if you're going to follow through on a report the assault to the police, it's a good idea to observe the following guidelines until you decide:

  • It's important that you do not take a shower or a bath.
  • If you did take a shower or bath, be sure to save the towel you used afterwards.
  • Try not to eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, or take in anything by mouth.
  • If possible, don't urinate or use the restroom.
  • If you've changed your clothes, take all of the clothes you were wearing during the assault and put them in a brown paper bag.
  • Don't douche.
  • If you're on your period, keep the tampon or pad.
  • If a condom was used and you can safely acquire it, save the condom.
  • If it was a stranger assault, make a mental note of any items (such as furniture, the steering wheel, or a glass) the perpetrator may have touched.
  • Don't drink any alcoholic beverages or use any drugs after the assault.
  • If you were intoxicated and can't remember the assault, save any drinks you consumed that the perpetrator had access to.
  • For now, limit your conversation with friends and relatives about the assault.
  • Don't have any intimate relations until after the sexual assault exam.
  • If you go to the emergency room, the exam should just be visual unless there is an immediate need for medical attention.
  • If you choose to report the assault, report as soon as possible. Just call 911 or your local police department, and they will guide you from there.
  • Preserve electronic evidence such as texts, emails, chats, posts, etc.

Getting Help


  • It was not your fault.
  • No matter what you did or didn't do, you didn't ask or deserve to be raped or sexually assaulted
  • Call a friend, family member, or someone else you trust who can be with you and can give you support.
  • It is a good idea to talk to a professional counselor to begin the healing process. You have bravely survived a trauma. Many trauma survivors experience Post Traumatic tress Disorder. Without treatment, survivors often find themselves feeling depressed, anxious, or self-destructive. Counseling can help alleviate these symptoms and keep other ones from coming up.
  • It's important to make sure that you are okay; this means medical attention is needed. Places you can go include your family physician, Planned Parenthood, or a local family planning clinic. Note that all medical providers are mandated reporters and will call law enforcement if they have knowledge of or suspect sexual assault.
  • Visit our Resources page for more information on places you can contact for help.