What To Do As a Victim of a Sexual Assault
Go To a Safe Place. If you are in fear of your safety, call the police (9-1-1) immediately, especially if the attacker is still nearby.
Seek Emotional Care and Support. Don’t try to deal with this issue alone. Call a friend, family member, or someone whom you feel you can talk to. The Rape Crisis Hotline has counselors available 24-hours a day at (408) 287-3000
Get Medical Attention. Get medical attention as soon as possible to assess and treat physical injuries you may have sustained and to collect evidence of the assault.
Help Preserve Evidence. You do not have to decide immediately whether or not you want to pursue a criminal complaint, but collecting evidence immediately following an assault will be helpful if you decide to press charges later; it will also help if you file a complaint with the College.
Decide Who to Tell About the Assault. You have the right to decide who and when to tell about the sexual assault. You have the right not to tell people you think will not understand or support you. You do not have to tell anyone you think will judge you or make you feel badly about yourself. You can decide to wait before you tell anyone. You can always decide to tell someone in the future if you feel comfortable doing so.
Report the Assault. You always have the option of reporting the assault to the police. Physical evidence can be found on your body often up to 72 hours, and sometimes even after that. The sooner you report, the more likely there will be physical evidence of the crime. The chances that the rapist will be prosecuted are reduced if there is no physical evidence. If you decide to report you can also choose not to prosecute at a later date. You can report the assault to the Santa Clara County Police Department by calling (408) 299-3233. To report a complaint to the College, see How Do I File A Title IX Complaint? If you’d like to speak with someone at the College confidentially, see Can I Speak With Someone Confidentially About Sexual Violence?
Know Your Rights
As a survivor, you have the right to:
- Decide what you want to do.
- Decide who to tell.
- Be treated with respect by police, medical staff, counselors, court staff, friends and family.
- Be listened to and to be supported, no matter what you decide to do.
- Have your own feelings.
- Be believed!