Sexual Assault/Rape Resources
- Go to a safe place, call a friend and, most importantly, do not blame yourself. You should go to a safe place and call a friend, family member or someone you can trust to provide you with support. Most importantly, remember the following: The rape was not your fault. Your behavior did not cause what happened--the rapist did. Your dress did not cause what happened--the rapist did. Alcohol did not cause what happened--the rapist did.
- Talk with a counselor who is trained to consult with rape victims. If you are a Victoria area student, you can contact the UHV Counseling Center at 361-570-4135 or visit them in University West Suite 132. If you are a Houston area student, you can contact the University of Texas Health Science Center at 713-500-3327 or toll free at 800-346-3549. In Houston, you can also call the Houston Area Women's Center 24-hour sexual assault hotline at 713-528-7273 or the Fort Bend County Women's Center at 281-342-4357. You can also find additional resources by calling RAINN, a national victim assistance organization at 1-800-656-HOPE.
- Preserve all physical evidence and seek medical care and a medical exam ASAP. Resist the urge to shower, bathe, douche, eath, drink or brush your teeth until you have had a medical exam. Go to a hospital emergency room. If you suspect you were given a date rape drug, ask the hospital or clinic to take a urine sample. Some date rape drugs are more readily detected in urine than in blood, but they don't remain in your system for very long. Take a friend with you for support. Contact our Confidential Advisor if you have want her to accompany you to the emergency room (361-570-4135 or toll free 1-855-848-4279). Many physical injuries may not be apparent immediately. Also, you will need to be tested for and discuss treatment and prevention options for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. They can also collect physical evidence that can be used later to prosecute your assailant. You DO NOT have to file a police report to get medical attention.
- Report the crime. Notify campus police or local police immediately. Immediate notification can help you gain a sense of control and can preserve important evidence.
- Call a Title IX Coordinator. Sexual assault is a violation of the UH System Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Title IX Coordinators can talk with you about your rights and resources and help you access appropriate housing, academic or safety accommodations. These accommodations area available with or without a formal complaint. Call the Title IX Coordinator at 361-570-4835 if you need special arrangements to be made for housing or for class or want to talk about your options.
You should seek medical care immediately after a sexual assault, even if you don't have any apparent injuries or you don't know if you will file a Sexual Misconduct Policy Violation report and/or police report for the following reasons:
You may have injuries of which you are not aware.
Most sexual assault victims do not have serious or life-threatening injuries. Many victims do not even have visible injuries or have minor injuries. However, you should still be examined by a doctor or a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Nurse. You may be in shock, and you may have internal injuries of which you are not aware. You may also have minor injuries, such as scratches or bruises. A doctor or nurse can treat these injuries. The doctor or nurse can also document any injuries you have sustained so that if you decide to take any kind of legal action, such as participating in the prosecution of your assailant, you will have a record of what happened to you.
A medical exam enables you to identify and preserve physical evidence of the assault.
During a medical examination, the doctor or nurse can look for and collect physical evidence of a sexual assault, such as semen, sperm, saliva samples, and stains on your body or clothing. This evidence may be present immediately after the assault but will deteriorate as time passes.
You can receive treatment to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and potential pregnancy.
A sexual assault can place you at risk for getting sexual transmitted diseases or potential pregnancy. A doctor or nurse can help you evaluate your risk of contracting various STI's and advise you about ways to protect yourself against these risks. One of the benefits of obtaining medical care very soon after a sexual assault is that immediate evaluation and medication can prevent some STIs. You can also receive information on emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning after pill for the prevention of pregnancy.
- The doctor or nurse will ask about your general health and medical history. If you are a female, you will be asked about your menstrual pattern and whether or not you use contraception. You will also be asked about the sexual assault. The information you give helps the examiner conduct a thorough physical evaluation.
- The doctor will look for injuries and other signs of force. You may be asked to provide consent for photos if you have visible injuries. If you do have physical injuries, pictures should be taken of those injuries because they may heal by the time the assailant is prosecuted and they can serve as evidence.
- The doctor may also take samples from your vagina, mouth, or rectum. Other evidence may be obtained from fingernail scrapings, foreign matter on your body, or from the clothes you were wearing at the time of your assault.
- You may also be tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases.
- You can discuss options for emergency contraception
You can choose to file two different reports: Sexual Misconduct Policy Violation Report and/or a Police Report
Sexual Misconduct Policy Violation Report
Sexual assault is a violation of the University's Sexual Misconduct Policy. Once university officials are notified of any sexual misconduct, they are required to investigate. The UHV investigation and the police investigation are two different investigations. The UHV investigation requires a preponderance of the evidence, in other words, more likely than not that the event occurred. If the evidence supports a violation of university policy, the University will decide on appropriate disciplinary action(s) against the offender. A UHV report can be filed without a police report being filed.
If you are nervous about making a report because you want to remain anonymous, there are a few options you may consider:
- Report anonymously online through MySafeCampus.com. Using this system, you can report the incident, and your identity will not be revealed unless you reveal it. However, filing a report through this online mechanism may limit our ability to conduct a thorough investigation.
- Talk to the UHV Confidential Advisor/Counselor for support and advice on reporting options.
If you want to make a police report, call the local police or the UHV Police Sergeant Travis Gundelach at 361-570-4357. The sooner you make a report, the more likely the police will be able to collect important evidence. A prompt call an also strengthen the case for prosecution. However, even if some time has passed since you were sexually assaulted, it is never too late to make a UHV report or police report, or seek help from other victim assistance agencies or UHV's Confidential Advisor. who may be able to accompany you when you make a police report.
You may be too upset to remember everything that took place, that is alright. You can provide as much as you can remember. If you remember details after you make the police report, you can contact the police to provide them with additional information. Many victims recall details days and even weeks after the assault.
Reasons to make a Police Report:
- Regain your personal sense of control and power
- Document the crime that was committed against you
- Preserve evidence of the assault
- Protect others from being sexually assaulted--most rapists are repeat offenders. If you report your crime, it may help the police identify a pattern or an assailant who has attacked others.
Federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights
The Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights was signed into law by President George Bush in July of 1992.
- Survivors shall be notified of their options to notify law enforcement
- Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present
- Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding
- Survivors shall be notified of counseling services
- Survivors shall be notified of options of changing academic and living situations