What to do If You Are Sexually Assaulted

 

If you have been sexually assaulted, these are steps you can take to help yourself and preserve evidence in case you decide to report the crime.

 

Go to a safe place, if possible. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Tell someone about the assault ̶ a family member, friend, caregiver, service provider, or other trusted individual.

Call RDVIC: (304) 292-5100. A victim advocate is trained to help you understand your medical and legal options and to provide emotional support. The advocate can also assist you in identifying accommodations you might need and access services.

Go to a hospital emergency department for a medical exam. You may have suffered injuries, contracted a sexually transmitted infection, or become pregnant. Talk with hospital personnel about what you might need to be comfortable during an exam. If you need support, RDVIC always has advocates on call to accompany you to the hospital and explain procedures.

You will not be forced or required to make a police report at the hospital. The decision to report the crime is up to you.

West Virginia has a Crime Victims Compensation Fund. In order to qualify, you must make a police report within 72 hours of the crime.

Forensic evidence may be on your body and clothing, which can assist with case investigation and prosecution. To preserve this evidence until it can be collected at the hospital, do not bathe, change your clothes, comb your hair, urinate, or douche.

If you cannot wait to urinate until arrival at the medical facility or you suspect that you may have been drugged, save your first urine in a clean container and take it with you to the hospital for drug testing. 

If you have changed clothes, place the clothes you were wearing during the assault in a paper bag and take them with you to the hospital.

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