IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED:
WHAT TO DO NEXT

24-HOUR EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
Sexual Assault Response Team (262) 472-1060
Crisis Line 1-800-365-1587
Police 911
Aurora Lakeland Hospital (Elkhorn) (262) 741-2000

*** Go to a Safe Place *** Call someone *** Keep Your Options Open *** Seek Medical Attention *** Care for Yourself *** Seek Counseling *** Consider Legal/Disciplinary Action ***Your rights *** Planning to Tell Someone


1. Go to a Safe Place.

If the person who assaulted you knows where you are and may return, then leave the area. Go to visit a friend or to a well lit public area until help arrives.

2. Call Someone.

You should not be alone right now. A sexual assault advocate is available 24 hours per day by calling 472-1060. The advocate can provide emotional support, advocacy, and information either over the phone or in person. Consider calling a friend or relative. You should not be alone right now. If you want to report the crime, the sooner you call the police the better. What is an advocate?
Things to consider when disclosing sexual violence

3. Keep Your Options Open.

Do not bathe, shower, douche, brush your teeth, change clothes or move or touch anything at the location of the assault. If you preserve the evidence, you maintain your choice to press charges at some point. If you do not, that chance may be lost forever. The sooner you do this, the better, but some evidence may be able to be collected up to 72 hours later. To collect medical evidence go to a hospital emergency department and ask for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE nurse) to perform a forensic exam. A state fund will pay the charges for a forensic exam. A friend, SARTeam member or police officer can go with you. Bring along a change of clothes because you may need to leave your clothing as evidence. If you think someone may have slipped you a drug, ask that a specific drug test for Rohypnol or GHB be done immediately before the drug leaves your system.

4. Seek medical attention.

If you go to the hospital for the forensic exam, you will also receive medical care. If don’t go to the hospital, go to the University Health and Counseling Services to be checked for internal and external injuries and possibly treated for sexually transmitted infections. Let the health care provider know if you are interested in emergency contraception which can prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after the assault. At UHCS there is no charge for the exam and only small charges for tests and medication. Contact the Ruth Swisher, Director of Health at UHCS if you need assistance paying for these expenses. For more information

5. Care for Yourself.

You have been through a trauma. Your body has been flooded with stress hormones and your autonomic nervous system has increased your heart rate, breathing rate and muscle tension and slowed your digestion. Your normal ability to assess threats and self regulate your response to threats has been disrupted. Drink plenty of water and exercise to flush out the excess stress hormones in your body. Allow yourself to become deeply relaxed through deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery or progressive muscle relaxation to calm your autonomic nervous system. Take a bath, hug a pillow, wrap up in a blanket, rock or engage in other behaviors you find soothing.

6. Seek Counseling

Call UHCS for a free counseling appointment. The normal reactions to sexual assault can make you feel very uncomfortable and counseling can help you heal sooner and more completely.

Every person responds differently, but common reactions include numbness, shock, disbelief, flashbacks, rage, tearfulness, being easily startled, grief, feeling violated, fear of being alone, difficulty concentrating, joylessness, difficulty sleeping, social withdrawal, and nightmares.

Everyone does not heal at the same pace. Your healing will depend on many factors including, the type of assault, your relationship to the offender, your personality, your prior life experiences, your support system and whether or not you receive adequate professional counseling. You can not just make the feelings and reactions disappear by ignoring them. Counseling is important because phobias, alcohol or other drug problems, depression, sleep or eating disturbances, difficulty trusting others, or sexual dysfunction can develop if your feelings about the assault are not processed.

The Association for the Prevention of Family Violence holds a free support group for survivors every Wednesday 3-4 pm during the academic year in room 2023S of the Ambrose Health Center on campus. To join or for more information, call Haley Schultz at 262-723-4653 or apfvcva@charterinternet.com .

7. Decide about taking legal action.

You have three avenues open to you.

A. If you wish to press criminal charges, notify the police. For an assault that occurred on campus, call the University Police. If the assault occurred somewhere else, call the local police where the assault occurred. A SARTeam member or friend may come with you. The police will investigate the crime and determine the criminal charges. Then the District Attorney will decide whether or not there is enough evidence to prosecute. This can result in a trial or plea bargain.

B. If the perpetrator is a University of Wisconsin student from any campus, you may file a complaint with the Assistant Dean of Student Life: (262) 472-1533. University Disciplinary Action

If the perpetrator is a UW - Whitewater employee, you may file a sexual harassment complaint with Human Resources: (262) 472-1072

C. If you want to sue in civil court, hire a lawyer to file the suit.

If you are under the age of 18, the law requires many helping professionals to report your assault to the authorities as child abuse.

As a UWW student you have the right to

• Medical treatment
• Counseling and support
Advocacy from the SARTeam
• Have your complaints to the conduct officer investigated
• Have others present at your hearing
• Be informed of the outcome of the hearing
• Report to the police
• Change your academic or living situation
• Written educational materials
• Be treated in a non judgmental respectful manner and with confidentiality
• Know that statistical reporting of all incidents does occur.


In Wisconsin, if you report the crime to the police within 5 days and apply for crime victim compensation within one year, you can be reimbursed for medical, hospital, and counseling expenses as well as lost wages and clothing reimbursement. Call 1-800-446-6564.


This site is not meant to replace the advice of health care, counseling or legal professionals. You should not rely on any information on these pages, or information generated for you by this site, to replace consultations with qualified professionals regarding your own specific situation.

Some links take you to a source outside of the SART website. The owners of that site, not SART, are responsible for content.
Please email comments, suggestions, or updates to brueggek@uww.edu

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