What to Do if You Are a Victim of Sexual Violence or Rape Skip Navigation

Sexual Violence: If it Happens to You

If you do not feel safe or have a serious injury, call Campus Safety at 315-228-7911, or the police at 911. Remember: Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim.

First Steps

If you have just been sexually assaulted, your health and safety are most important. Make sure you are safe from further harm.

If you do not feel safe or have a serious injury, call Campus Safety at 315-228-7911, or the police at 911.

Call someone you trust who can help you, such as a roommate or friend, or Campus Safety personnel, who are trained in assisting victims of sexual assault. There are many decisions for you to make about what to do next, and you deserve to have support to help you through this.

You do not need to formally report the incident to seek medical attention or receive receive support services from the university.

Immediately afterwards, it is recommended that you do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, brush your teeth, or wash your hands until you have a medical examination. If there is any possibility that you might want to make a police report, evidence may be on your body that can be destroyed through these activities. If you haven't changed your clothing, keep the original clothes on, and bring an extra set to wear home from the hospital. The police may need to keep your clothes for evidence.

If you have already changed your clothes, place the clothes you were wearing at the time of the incident in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence). If the assault occurred in your residence, try not to disturb the scene. Call Campus Safety at 315-228-7911, and they can put you in touch with the on-call counselor and dean as well as provide transport to the hospital. They are also available to accompany you to the Hamilton Police Department if you wish to file criminal charges. 

Medical Care

It is strongly recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after a sexual assault. Medical examination is an important component of the care that is provided to a sexual assault survivor. One of the reasons for medical examination is to check for any physical injuries; not all injuries are immediately apparent. In addition, preventive treatments for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, as well as pregnancy prevention, are available. These should happen as soon as possible.

If there is any chance at all that you might want to report the sexual assault, either now or in the near future, evidence should be collected within 96 hours of the assault. Specially trained nurses, called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), are available 24 hours a day at hospitals in Oneida and Syracuse to meet the medical and evidence collection needs of individuals who have been sexually assaulted. It is highly recommended that you contact Campus Safety, who will provide free transportation for you to a hospital where you can be seen by a SANE. You do not need to file a report with Campus Safety to request transportation to see a SANE. Neither Campus Safety nor the hospital will contact the police without your consent.

You can download a PDF of the details of the medical care you will receive in the emergency room.

Even if you are undecided about whether or not you wish to report the assault to the police, it is recommended to have evidence collected as soon as possible after a sexual assault so that you keep your options open for the future.

If you choose not to report to the police, but do decide the make a formal complaint of sexual misconduct for an on-campus hearing process, the evidence can be presented in the university hearing. Physical evidence can be very important in sexual assault cases.

Assault Was More than Four Days Ago?

If the assault occurred more than 96 hours (four days) ago, call Health Services (315-228-7750) for a checkup, STD tests, a pregnancy test, and emergency contraception if necessary. Let them know that it is an urgent situation.

The staff are well trained on these issues, and can provide better care if they know about the assault; however, you are not required to tell them what happened.

Concerned about a friend?

Report an incident or concern if you are concerned about a student. It is important to share that information so we can seek to provide assistance.

Assault Was in the Past?

If the assault occurred sometime in the past, call Counseling and Psychological Services (315-228-7385). In the days, months, and years after a sexual assault, survivors experience a wide variety of feelings. Some feel okay for a while and then have difficulty dealing with their feelings later on. Healing takes time and individuals react in their own unique way. The Counseling Center staff can provide confidential emotional support and guidance to assist you in coping with the trauma of a sexual assault.