Immediately After an Incident
If you have experienced sexual assault or interpersonal violence, the most important thing you can do is get to a safe place. If you believe you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 911 as soon as possible.
- Get to a safe place.
- Avoid washing, douching, brushing your teeth, or changing your clothes. While this may be difficult, preserving any evidence is important in the event that you decide to report the assault to the police.
- Call someone. No matter how late it is, you should not be alone, and many people at the University can help and support you. Call a friend, your rector, assistant rector or RA, Notre Dame Security Police (574-631-5555), the University Counseling Center (574-631-7336), or University Health Services (574-631-7497). Or, if you prefer to speak to someone off-campus, call the 24-hour Sex Offense Services S-O-S hotline at 574-289-4357. S-O-S of the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County is the local rape crisis center for St. Joseph County.
- Seek medical attention at the Emergency Room of either St. Joseph Regional Medical Center (574-335-5000) or Memorial Hospital (574-647-1000). These hospitals can help to treat injuries, check for pregnancy/STDs, and collect physical evidence to be used should you choose to report the assault. St. Joseph Regional Medical Center has specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners available 24 hours a day.
- Insurance will not be billed. University Health Services can assist you by arranging transportation and can provide confidential and professional follow-up medical care.
- Consider reporting the assault. Going to the hospital to seek medical attention does not obligate you to report the crime.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, ideally within 120 hours of the sexual assault. Emergency room staff may ask if you would like them to contact the police for you. This is your decision. You do not need to speak to the police if you do not wish to do so. Filing a report does not obligate you to follow through with pressing charges. Also, an anonymous exam may be performed, and all evidence collected will be held for a one-year period, giving you time to decide whether or not to file a police report. After one year, all evidence will be destroyed.
If more than 120 hours have passed since the assault:
- Seek medical attention to address any injuries or symptoms related to the assault. University Health Services in Saint Liam Hall (for students) or the Notre Dame Wellness Center (for faculty/staff) can provide confidential and professional medical care and/or make an appropriate referral to a local physician.
- Consider seeking confidential counseling and/or pastoral support, either through the University Counseling Center (574-631-7336) or Campus Ministry (574-631-7800).
- Consider reporting the assault. You may report the assault to the University or to local police.