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What do I do?

Topics

  1. If you are sexually assaulted?
  2. If your friend is sexually assaulted?
  3. If you need emergency contraception?

If you are sexually assaulted?

Go to a safe place with people who will be able to assist you.

University Public Safety  275-3333

University Health Service -- Physician is on-call when the offices are closed

River Campus Office, UHS Building, 1st Floor275-2662
Medical Center Office, Medical Center, 1-5000 area275-2662
Eastman School Office, Student Living Center, room 106274-1230
Health Promotion Office, UHS Building, 2nd floor273-5770

University Counseling Center -- Professional is on-call when the office is closed

UHS Building, 3rd floor         275-3113

Center for Student Conflict Management, CARE Network 

Wilson Commons, 5th floor   275-4085   

Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    • You may have hidden injuries and also may want to explore options for preventing pregnancy and STDs.
    • Drugs used for emergency contraception and to prevent HIV and STDs have a limited time within which to work.

Seeking medical attention allows you to have evidence collected.

Having evidence collected within 72 hours preserves your right to decide at a later date whether you wish to go forward with the University's judicial process or with the criminal justice system.

  • You should not take a shower, change clothes, or brush your teeth in order to preserve evidence that can be used later, if you decide to press charges. If you want to change your clothes, set your clothes aside in a plastic bag.
  • You may want a friend to accompany you to the Emergency Department.
  • A Counselor from RESTORE (585.546.2777) is available to meet you at the Emergency Department to offer support.
  • Emergency Room charges for the Rape Evidence Collection Kit visit are billed directly to the New York State Crime Victims Board on a routine basis.
    • This process allows everyone, whether they have made a report to University Public Safety or to the Police Department or not, to bypass their private medical insurance carrier. This is especially important to individuals who do not have medical insurance and to those who may not want their parents to learn about the Emergency Room visit.
    • Individuals are asked to complete a form giving permission for the hospital to notify the Crime Victims Board that the individual went to the Emergency Room for sexual assault.

You DO NOT need to decide whether you want to file a report about the incident immediately, but you do need to have the evidence collected as quickly as possible.

Get support. This is not something you should have to go through alone.
  • Talk with friends whom you feel safe with.
  • Contact RESTORE at 585.546.2777 to speak with a Counselor.
  • Make an appointment at the University Counseling Center at 585.275.3113.
  • It is not unusual to face a myriad of reactions including depression, anxiety and fear, difficulty trusting others, and self-harming behaviors as well as many, many other emotions.
    • Everyone reacts differently. Some people may experience reactions immediately. Others may seem to function fine immediately, but have reactions long after the event occurred.
    • Getting help now can help to reduce the impact the assault has on your life later on.
  • Take care of yourself.
    • You have been through a traumatic event. It is vitally important that you attend to your physical and emotional health needs as you cope and recover.
If you decide not to press charges, you may consider asking for a Proxy Report to be completed.
    • Filing a Proxy Report with the University Title IX Coordinator, Morgan Levy, (585.275.7814) provides you with an anonymous way to report a sexual assault that will not result in charges being pressed, but does allow your story to be heard.
    • If you do decide to press charges, either within the University's judicial system or externally with the Rochester Police Department or the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Morgan Levy, University Title IX Coordinator (585.275.7814) can assist you with the process.
Remember, you are not to blame, regardless of the circumstances. Nothing you have done (dress provocatively, drink too much, had sex with the same person before, etc.) warrants someone sexually assaulting you.

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If your friend is sexually assaulted?

Your friend may feel different kinds of pressure and distress:

  • The assailant may try to manipulate your friend into feeling sorry for the assailant in the hope that your friend will decide not to tell anyone about the incident.
  • The assailant may have had sex with the victim when the victim was too drunk or too high to say no.
  • The assailant might have suggested that something bad would happen to your friend if the victim did not give in.
  • Your friend may also experience any or all of these emotions:
    • Shock
    • Disbelief
    • Anger
    • Mood swings
    • Irritability
    • Denial
    • Fear
    • Helplessness
    • Embarrassment
    • Depression
    • An inability to concentrate or relax
    • Disturbances in eating and sleeping

What can you do?

  • Believe your friend. People rarely lie about being sexually assaulted. Be sure that your friend knows they have your support.
  • Allow your friend to decide when to seek professional help. You are still helping your friend even if your friend refuses some of your suggestions. Providing support is better than pressuring your friend.
  • Let your friend control the situation as much as possible. Let your friend determine the pace of healing. Help your friend understand the options available and encourage your friend to keep their options open. Most important, allow your friend to make their own decisions.
  • Show you are there to listen. A friend may confide in you 10 minutes or 10 years after the assault. At that time, it does not matter what you say, but how you listen. Remember that someone has violated your friend's sense of trust. Respect your friend's need to have someone to confide in.
  • Don't search for things your friend could have done differently. No one asks to be sexually assaulted. Avoid asking blaming questions and using judgmental or pointed phrases, such as "Why didn't you scream?" or "If I ever get my hands on that creep . . ." or "I would have . . ."
  • Encourage your friend to get medical attention as soon as possible. Your friend can obtain medical attention from:
    • University Health Service
    • A private physician
    • Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Department
      Emergency room staff will contact the police when they treat victims of sexual assault. Police officers ask victims if they would like to file a report. Your friend does not have to talk to the police or file a report if your friend does not want to.

There is help for your friend and for you. Your friend may need counseling. Offer to help your friend through the process of finding someone to talk to. You need to take care of yourself as well. You may also find it helpful to talk with someone about the situation.

  • University Counseling Center, 585.275.3113, on-call 24 hours
  • RESTORE Hotline, 585.546.2777, on-call 24 hours

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If you need emergency contraception?

  • Emergency contraception (EC), also known as "Plan B" or "the morning after pill," provides an opportunity to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It may be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse; however, the sooner the first dose is initiated, the more effective it is. EC is available for purchase at UHS without a prescription.
  • The hormones in EC work primarily by delaying or preventing ovulation. They may also change the lining of the uterus, so that a fertilized egg cannot implant itself. EC does not interfere with an existing pregnancy. It only works to prevent a pregnancy from being established in the uterus.

Effectiveness

  • When used correctly, EC is between 75-90% effective in preventing an unplanned pregnancy. The sooner the medication is initiated after unprotected intercourse, the higher the effectiveness may be. At any time, a woman's risk of becoming pregnant when having unprotected intercourse depends on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

Side effects and risks

  • Temporary side effects may include breast tenderness, headache, and menstrual irregularities. EC is safe for almost all women. Even women who have been told they cannot take oral contraceptive pills on a regular basis can generally use EC safely. EC is not recommended for use during pregnancy because it simply will not work.

There are instances when Emergency Contraception may be unsafe

  • If you are pregnant
  • During a current migraine headache, especially if accompanied by neurological complications
  • If you have a history of stroke
  • If you have problems with blood clotting

A woman should use Emergency Contraception when

  • A condom broke or fell off
  • She had sex without using any other method of birth control
  • The diaphragm slipped out of place
  • She has missed more than two days of birth control pills
  • She has been sexually assaulted or raped

Obtaining Emergency Contraception

  • Plan B is available for purchase without a prescription for men or women. An appointment is not needed to purchase Plan B at UHS.

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