SURVIVOR’S CHOICES AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULT
If you have been sexually assaulted:
- Prioritize your physical and emotional health. Get to a safe place. Call a friend or someone you trust to be with you.
- Call the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center's (SBRCC) 24-hour hotline (564-3696). The SBRCC provides free, confidential support and counseling. They can offer valuable information and answers to your questions.
- On campus, call Security @ x 2400 or come to the Student Health Center in SS-170 between the hours of:
8 am-6pm M, T, Th
8 am-7pm W
9am – 3 pm F
- Seek medical help. Taking care of your body may be the first step to recovering control of your life. A medical exam can ascertain whether infection, sexual transmitted infection, pregnancy, internal injuries or shock are warranting further treatment. If you choose to report the rape, you may receive medical care through SART (Sexual Assault Response Team). Community clinics, Planned Parenthood and private doctors also provide medical care. You are not required to report to law enforcement when you go to a clinic or doctor. However, if you talk with a doctor or nurse about the assault, they are obligated to report this information to law enforcement regardless of your age.
- Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center has trained advocates to talk with you about your rights and options in relation to medical and legal concerns. (564-3696) The advocate’s primary role is to support you. She will give you as much information as you need and will support your decisions. If you decide to get medical care and/or report to the police, she can be with you through the entire procedure.
- If you choose to report, you can call law enforcement directly at 911 or ask an advocate to assist you in making the call. If you are considering making a report to law enforcement, do not douche, shower, bathe, change or destroy your clothes immediately following the assault. Although it is normal to want to clean up immediately after an assault, doing so removes vital evidence. Once the call is made, a police officer will meet with you and take a report. You have the right to have someone with you during the interview procedure. The medical exam should be done as soon as possible after the assault.
- If you wish to report anonymously, you may do so. Some people want law enforcement to be aware of an assault and assailant but wish to remain anonymous. The Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center will help you complete an anonymous victim report and will send copies to the appropriate agencies. Law enforcement will not make any arrests based on an anonymous report, however, the information may be helpful in investigating similar cases.
Survivors of sexual assault may:
- File an anonymous report for the purpose of documentation only.
- Contact SBCC security: escort to your classes or car as needed or support with enforcing restraining orders while on campus.
- Report to both the security office and campus conduct system.
- File a civil suit against the accused.
- Seek to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) - If you know your assailant and fear further contact, a TRO may provide you with added protection. TRO states that the assailant cannot call you, come near you, or in any other way harass you for the duration of the order. A TRO can be obtained through a private attorney or the Legal Aid Foundation (963-6754). Once the assailant has been given notice of the restraining order, he can be arrested for violating any of its terms.
- Request academic assistance for missed classes or exams, or help with rearranging your coursework. A SBCC personal counselor or your advocate from the Rape Crisis Center can accompany you in meeting with your instructors or the Dean.
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