What to Do if You Are the Victim of Sexual Misconduct
If you are a survivor of sexual misconduct, the sooner you seek help, the more options you have available to you. However, regardless of when the incident occurred, it is never too late to speak with someone regarding support resources and other options, including legal and campus resolution.
- Get away from your attacker and to a safe place as soon as possible. In a law enforcement emergency, call 911 or Campus Safety.
- If it is not an emergency, and you are considering making a report about what happened to you to law enforcement, please know that navigating the law enforcement reporting process can be complicated. The colleges strongly recommend that students who are interested in exploring this option contact Project Sister Family Services’ 24/7 hotline at (909) 626-4357. A hotline counselor will explain and help guide you through the process, including whether evidence preservation (see explanation below) is an option.
- Seek support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support; feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. Call a trusted friend or family member or contact one of the on and off campus support resources.
- Talk with your Title IX Coordinator about your options. Your institution’s Title IX Coordinator will review your options and support resources both on and off campus.
If one has experienced sexual violence, it is important to preserve evidence. The primary method of preserving physical evidence is the SART exam.
- What is a SART Exam? Forensic examination performed after a sexual assault, the main purpose of which is to collect evidence that could help in an ongoing or later criminal investigation/prosecution. The exam is conducted by sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), medical professionals with specialized training in performing such exams.
- How soon after an assault should I obtain a SART exam? As soon as possible, but generally evidence can be collected only up to 96 hours after the incident.
- How do I arrange SART Exam? Navigating the SART exam process can be complicated. It is strongly recommended that students interested in getting an exam contact Project Sister Family Services’ 24/7 hotline at (909) 626-4357. A counselor will explain the process, arrange for an exam, and provide a confidential sexual assault counselor (advocate) and support person to attend the exam (if you wish). This process ensures the exam is free. Trying to arrange the exam yourself could mean it gets billed to your insurance. Of course, if you want assistance from the colleges, contact Campus Safety at (909) 607-2000 and ask to speak to the on-call dean.
- Is there anything I should do to preserve evidence before SART exam? If possible, try not to bathe, brush teeth, eat or drink (don’t worry if you’ve already done so). Put clothes worn during incident (and any other evidence such as sheets) in clean paper bag (plastic can destroy evidence). If you think you were drugged, urinate in cup ASAP and write down the date/time of urination.
- If I undergo SART Exam, do I have to pursue criminal prosecution? Under federal law, you are entitled to a free forensic medical exam even if you end up choosing not to report to or cooperate with law enforcement. However, obtaining an exam helps keep your options open.