If you have experienced a sexual assault or violence in a dating or intimate relationship, the most important thing you can do is get to a safe place and find help. If you believe you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 911 as soon as possible.
Once you are safe, contact someone you trust to be with you for support. This could be a friend, family member, or someone on campus.
All people should get help if they witness or experience sexual violence—including non-U.S. citizens.
Seek Medical Attention
No matter what happened, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can—even if you’re not sure if you want to report the incident. Seeking medical attention does not require you to speak to the police or make a criminal report.
Medical attention is the best way to protect yourself from the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and other medical traumas in connection with a sexual assault. Even if you think you’re physically okay, you may have injuries that may need treatment.
It’s also important that you consider having a forensic exam done. This ensures your medical well being. If you so choose, evidence can get collected in case you decide to report what happened to the police or campus authorities.
Preserve Evidence of the Sexual Violence or Encounter
While you might be tempted to try to erase all signs of what happened to you, it’s important to preserve the evidence. You may need it to provide proof of criminal activity or to obtain a protection order.
DO NOT do any of the following things until you’ve gotten medical attention and/or contacted the police:
- Bathe or shower
- Use the restroom
- Change clothes
- Comb hair
- Clean up the crime scene
- Move anything the offender may have touched
- Try to collect evidence yourself.
DO get help from medical or law enforcement personnel as soon as possible. During your medical examination, a forensic exam (SANE exam) can be done upon your request. Even if you are unsure at this time if you want to report, evidence can be preserved for future use.
Get Counseling & Support
Coping with the aftermath of a sexual assault or dating or domestic violence can be very difficult—but remember, you’re not alone. UW Oshkosh offers counseling services to help you recover. There are also resources available in your community.
A Campus Victim Advocate is available to provide services at any time, including but not limited to:
Understanding options and rights as it pertains to sexual assault and discrimination
Medical advocacy (example: supportive services throughout SANE exam)
Legal advocacy (example: restraining orders, criminal proceedings, filing police report, etc.)
Make it a priority to get the help you need to process what happened to you.
Consider Reporting the Incident
Feel free to take your time with the decision to report.
For your medical well being we highly encourage you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Upon your request, physical evidence can be collected at the time of your medical exam. This does not require you to speak to the police or make a criminal report.
If you would like to speak with a resource prior to making your decision to report please contact the Campus Victim Advocate. They will be able to assist you in defining the process and deciding how you wish to proceed. The Campus Victim Advocate can help you whether you decide to report or not.
If you do decide to officially report the event, you have several options. You can:
Report it to campus police or local law enforcement
Report the event through the student conduct system (Dean of Students Office)
File a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator(s) on your campus
If you do report the event to campus authorities, you can ask them to help you notify law enforcement. You can also decline to involve the police.
**The University strives to uphold privacy and confidentiality as much as possible and only shares information received with those who have a need to know in order to respond. Individuals who desire anonymity in discussing and seeking assistance about sexual misconduct should contact and/or be referred to a confidential employee on their campus.**