After an Assault
GET SAFE, GET HELP
Below are a few things to keep in mind if you are assaulted, and may be helpful to tell a friend who has been assaulted:
It was not your fault!
Whatever you did to survive was the right thing to do.
Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
You have options. There are people who will believe you and who can help (see Resources hyperlink).
You know what's best for you.
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION
Even if you do not wish to press charges or collect evidence, get medical attention as soon as possible to make sure you are physically well. In addition to the emotional and psychological trauma experienced during and after a rape, survivors often must deal with physical concerns:
Bruising, cuts, or broken bones if the offender was physically violent
Tearing or bruising of the labia, vaginal wall or urethra
Sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonnohrea, etc)
After an assault, it can be very difficult to feel safe and to return to your normal life. Many survivors go through a normal progression of shock, psychological distress, and attempts to forget and feel normal. Some people call this Rape Trauma Syndrom (Hyperlink). If you are experiencing symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome, you may want to seek support. There are many places you can turn:
Family, friends, significant others
UIC Campus Advocacy Network (hyperlink) (312) 413-8206
Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline (888) 293-2080 (24 Hours)
Rape Victim Advocates
UIC Counseling Center (free for students)
If possible, (often survivors don't think of this until later, and that makes sense when you are dealing with trauma), try to preserve all physical evidence. Go to the hospital ER and ask to have a rape evidence collection kit done. The hospital should also call a Rape Victim Medical Advocate who can support you and advocate on your behalf at the hospital. In order for this kit to be most effective, follow these guidelines:
Do not wash
Do not use the toilet.
Do not change your clothes
If you do change clothes, put all the clothing you were wearing at the time of the attack in a paper, not plastic, bag.
If you or someone you know has been hurt:
Campus Advocacy Network
Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Abuse