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What to Do if Assaulted

What should I do if I am assaulted?

  1. Attempt to get to a safe place as quickly as possible.
  2. For assistance victims can contact the University Counseling Center, 412.396.6204; a Residence Life staff member, 412.396.5888; Health Service, 412.396.1650; Campus Ministry, 412.396.6020; or University Police, 412.396.COPS (2677).
  3. It is important to preserve all physical evidence. DO NOT bathe, shower, or douche. If oral sex was involved they should not brush their teeth, drink, or smoke. These activities will destroy evidence.

    The victim should not change clothes before seeking medical treatment. He or she should either wear the original clothes to the hospital or take the soiled clothes in a paper bag. The clothing will be kept as evidence.
  4. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to seek immediate medical treatment (Mercy Emergency Room, 412.232.8222) to assess for sexually transmitted infection, injury, or pregnancy. Hospital personnel will also collect evidence in case the victim might wish to file criminal charges later.

    It is important to know that although hospitals are required to report any injuries which are the result of a crime, this does not mean that the victim must file charges.
  5. Any victim can pursue legal action. However, it is difficult to collect physical evidence more than 72 hours after an assault to support such charges.
  6. Victims who wish to take legal action against their assailant may seek assistance through the campus judicial board, university police, or Pittsburgh police.
  7. Victims have the right to refuse to take legal action even if they file a police report.
  8. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to obtain counseling through:
    • University Counseling Center, Room 308 Administration Building (412.396.6204)
    • Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) (412.765.2731)
    • or the Center for Victims of Violent Crimes (412.392.8582).
  9. Victims are encouraged to contact someone they trust such as a close friend, family member, counseling center or campus ministry staff member to get support through the process.