STEPS A SURVIVOR SHOULD TAKE FOLLOWING AN INCIDENT OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND/OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE
V. STEPS A SURVIVOR SHOULD TAKE FOLLOWING AN INCIDENT OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND/OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE
If you are the survivor of sexual misconduct and/or sexual violence, help is available on the Seminary campus and in the Decatur, Illinois community.
The Seminary provides education and prevention resources, offers various support services and referrals for anyone who has experienced unlawful sexual misconduct or sexual violence, encourages and facilitates reporting, and is committed to disciplining anyone whom Seminary procedure determines has violated this policy.
If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to receive the necessary support for your safety and health. It is always your choice about who you want to tell and what you want to do; however, there are some recommended steps a person can take that can be beneficial for you.
• Find a safe environment. Remove yourself from your attacker as soon as possible. Contact a person you trust and ask this person to come get you or go to their location. Ask this person to remain with you as support while you decide your next action.
• If you have experienced any sexual misconduct or sexual violence, you are encouraged to report the incident and to seek medical care and support as soon as possible. Seek medical attention immediately from a hospital or another health care provider. Going to the hospital or other medical facility does not mean that you will need to make a police report; however, you will be given that opportunity. Try to preserve all physical evidence. This means do not bathe, shower, use the toilet, or change clothing if at all possible. If you must remove your clothing, place your clothing in a paper bag to prevent deterioration of evidence. A rape crisis advocate can be called to help you through this process at the hospital. Medical and follow up care are advised whether or not you report the assault. Even if you do not see any visible injuries, it is important to seek medical attention to make sure you have not sustained any internal injuries.
• If you suspect you have been drugged, go to your nearest emergency medical facility. It is extremely important for your safety and for collecting forensic (crime-solving) evidence. Again, even if you have forensic (crime-solving) evidence collected, it remains your choice regarding how you wish to proceed.
• For emergencies, call 911. If you have been assaulted on the Seminary campus, you can also call the Administrative Offices at 217-877-2446.
• If you are not sure if you would like to proceed with formal action, i.e., filing a police report or reporting it to the Seminary, there are informal support options available at WTS. Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center, 217-428-0770, is a resource where you can talk confidentially about what happened and learn about available resources to support you. For more information about steps to take after being sexually assaulted, you can also review the following brochure from the Illinois Coalition on Sexual Assault: http://www.icasa.org/docs/brochures/after sexual assault 2013.pdf