TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
this may be the last thing on your mind, preserving any physical
evidence will help with your case. Even if you're not sure if
you're going to follow through on a report the assault to the
police, it's a good idea to observe the following guidelines until
important that you do not take a shower or a bath.
If you did take a shower or bath, be sure to save the towel
you used afterwards.
Try not to eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, or take in anything
If possible, don't urinate or use the restroom.
If you've changed your clothes, take all of the clothes you
were wearing during the assault and put them in a brown paper
If you're on your period, keep the tampon or pad.
If a condom was used and you can safely acquire it, save the
If it was a stranger assault, make a mental note of any items
(such as furniture, he steering wheel, or a glass) the perpetrator
may have touched.
Don't drink any alcoholic beverages or use any drugs after the
If you are intoxicated and can't remember the assault, save
any drinks you consumed that the perpetrator had access to.
For now, limit your conversation with friends and relatives
about the assault.
Don't have any intimate relations until after the sexual assault
If you go to the emergency room, the exam should just be visual
unless there is an immediate need for medical attention.
you choose to report the assault, report as soon as possible.
Just call 911 or
your local police department, and they will guide you from there.
•The police may decide that a medical exam is needed to collect
evidence. If so, they will call the Sexual
Assault Emergency Response Team (SART) and drive you to a
specially equipped hospital. You won't be going through this alone.
When you get to the hospital, your advocate from the local rape
crisis center will be waiting for you as well as a sexual assault
•If law enforcement requests the exam, California law states that
you can't be billed for it.
•If you're not sure about reporting, we have provided some reasons
to report to help you make an informed decision. We also invite
you to call our twenty-four hotline at (818)
886-0453 or (661)
253-0258. Whatever you decide is okay with us.
•It's important to make sure that you are okay; this means medical
attention is needed. Places you can go include your family physician,
Planned Parenthood, or a local family planning clinic. Note that
all medical providers are mandated reporters and will call law
enforcement if they have knowledge of or suspect sexual assault.
•It is a good idea to talk to a professional counselor to begin
the healing process. You have bravely survived a trauma. Many
trauma survivors experience Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder. Without treatment, survivors often
find themselves feeling depressed, anxious, or self-destructive.
Counseling can help alleviate these
symptoms and keep other ones from coming up. Counseling at Valley
Trauma Center can be arranged by calling our twenty-four hotline
at (818) 886-0453
or (661) 253-0258.
it was not your fault.
No matter what you did or didn't do, you didn't ask
or deserve to be raped or sexually assaulted