Sexual Assault Resources
Help After an assault
“After a sexual assault, it is important to remember that you have choices about how to take care of yourself. There is no ONE right way to ensure your self-care. However, listed below are several options, offering you suggestions on how to meet your physical safety and emotional needs, how to obtain medical attention, and options for pursuing legal action.”
Sexual Assault is never the survivor’s fault. It is important that the victim of sexual assault understand that no matter where they were, the time of day or night assaulted, what they were wearing, or what they said or did - if they did not want the sexual contact, then nothing else matters.
What to do if I have been sexually assaulted:
- Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
- Contact someone you trust who can help you, such as a friend, family member, AU staff member, etc.
- To preserve evidence, it is best not to shower, bathe, douche, wash your hands, brush your teeth, comb your hair, or use a toilet if you can avoid it.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you are not seeking evidence collection, it is important to have a medical exam to test for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, internal and external injuries, and to answer health and wellness questions.
- Consider contacting support resources listed on the back of this document in order to discuss options.
- Talking with a counselor will help you begin to process and understand what happened. A counselor can also help you cope with emotional difficulties that may arise after an assault.
Get in touch with someone who can help: Review the off-campus 24/7 resources listed
Common reactions to sexual violence
A person who has experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking has experienced a traumatic event. We are each equipped to deal with trauma differently. No two people will process any traumatic event in the same way. There is no “normal” reaction to trauma and there is no “wrong” reaction to trauma.
In the immediate aftermath of victimization, the victim may act or feel:
As if the event never happened (denial),
choosing not to talk to or about anything that happened,
Anxious or panicked,
Resources for Immediate Support
Off-campus resources available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
RAINN Online Hotline. Provides 24/7 phone services at 1.800.656.HOPE OR you can chat anonymously online at www.rainn.org. RAINN’s services include: crisis intervention and support, referrals to resources in your area, answers to your questions about recovering from sexual assault, information about medical issues, explanations of the criminal justice system, what to expect if you report the crime to the police, and information for family and friends of victims/survivors. Anyone can contact the phone or online hotline, even if the violence/abuse occurred long ago.
DC Rape Crisis Center (202) 333-7273. Provides a 24/7 crisis hotline. Additionally, the DCRCC can provide an Advocate who can accompany victims/survivors to a hospital, police station, or court, and help guide them through each system. DCRCC also provides counseling services for survivors. All services are provided free of charge.
DC SANE Program at Washington Hospital (202) 877-7000. Located at Washington Hospital Center:110 Irving Street, NW Washington, DC 20010. Provides free medical examinations to collect/preserve evidence are conducted by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). As part of this service, the SANE Program provides free STDs/HIV testing and prophylactic treatment for STDs/HIV and pregnancy. Additional support services are also available. The program is staffed 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week by nurses with specialized training in medical forensic evidence collection. Exams are available to victims/survivors within 96 hours of an incident. Under the Violence Against Women’s Act, victims/survivors of sexual assault treated at the SANE center are not required to speak with law enforcement and therefore law enforcement will only be involved if requested.
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) or Local Jurisdiction Police Department 9-1-1
MPD Sexual Assault Unit (202) 727-3700
Public Safety Emergency line (202) 885-3636/ Non-emergency line (202)885-2527. Public safety responds to immediate threats to health and safety. Public Safety can also provide walking escorts to all students on campus property, Rape Aggression Defense classes that teach women how to defend themselves against attackers, and can assist a victim/survivor in filing a case with Student Conduct and/or Metropolitan Police.