The immediate aftermath of a sexual assault can be painful and confusing. You may feel scared and alone, and you may not know where to turn for help. Listed below are some steps you can take immediately following a sexual assault. These steps are not required but may help you get the best possible care in an emergency.
For Immediate Help
If you need emergency attention and support directly following an incident of sexual violence:
- 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 case you decide to report the assault to the police.
- For immediate help, contact Campus Security 910.630.7577.
- To seek immediate and confidential medical attention, go to the Hospital Emergency Room (Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, 1638 Owen Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28304)
- To have a forensic medical exam and complete a rape kit, go to the Hospital Emergency Room
For 24-hour anonymous support, contact the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault: 919.871.1015. This hotline is not affiliated with Methodist University.
- For additional on-campus support, call a RA and/or a trusted friend.
- Consider reporting the assault. You may report the assault to the University or to local police. Going to the hospital to seek medical attention does not obligate you to report the crime.
*If you would like to have a forensic medical exam conducted, it is important that you go to the Hospital Emergency Room as soon as possible, ideally within 96 hours of the incident. Promptly getting a forensic medical exam is important if you think you might report your sexual assault to the police, but getting a forensic medical exam does not obligate you to file a police report.
For Continuing Care
The physical and emotional effects of sexual violence can be persistent. Whether you experienced sexual violence last week or last year, it is important that you get the necessary support. Here are some steps you might take:
- To address any injuries or medical symptoms related to the assault, contact Methodist University’s Student Health Services 910.630.7164). They will provide confidential and professional medical care and/or make an appropriate referral to a local physician.
- For confidential emotional support, contact Counseling Services and/or the Office of Religious Life 910.630.7515).
- Consider reporting the assault.
Students can choose to access these services at any time. Likewise, students can choose to report an incident of sexual violence at any time.
For additional information about getting help for yourself or a friend, see a more complete list of campus and community resources and read about confidentiality on campus.