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What to Do After an Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted

  • Get to a safe place. 
  • Although it may be difficult, do not shower, bathe, douche, or wash your clothes worn during the offense. If you have changed your clothes, place them in a paper bag. (plastic bags can destroy evidence). Try not to eat, drink liquids, smoke or brush your teeth if oral contact took place. If you have already done you should still seek medical care.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Even if you feel okay, you should still seek medical attention to ensure there are no hidden injuries and/or receive emergency contraception or STI treatment (if needed).  In Missouri, you are responsible for any diagnostic tests or medication.  If you will have difficulty paying for the tests or medications, there may be resources available to you; the UMSL Counseling Services victim advocate can help you with those resources.
  • Even if you are unsure if you want to pursue charges, it’s best to have the evidence collection kit done as soon as possible.  Evidence collection is best collected within in the first 7 days but collection may be possible within the first 10 days.  Most hospitals will hold your kit for 2-3 months to indefinitely while you decide whether you want to pursue charges. If you are concerned about the cost of the medical expenses the forensic examination (also known as the rape kit) will be paid for by the state. 
  • During office hours call call 314-516-5711 to speak with a confidential UMSL Counseling Services victim advocate about available resources and support.  You may also use walk-in services (Monday - Friday 8am-5pm in MSC 131) or call to schedule an appointment to talk to a counselor about your assault, which can be helpful in the healing process. 
  • YWCA Women’s Resource Center 314-531-RAPE (7273) offers no-cost crisis response, support, and resources 24-hours a day, 7-days a week available anytime, regardless of when your assault took place.
  • Seek support from a friend, family member, or a trusted faculty or staff member (Be advised that for USML employees Title IX may apply.  Click here for more information on mandated reporting).  
  • Consider calling campus police at 314-516-5155 or your local police department.
  • If you need support services on campus in regards to changing housing assignments, classes, etc, you can report the assault to the UMSL Title IX coordinator without reporting to the police.  Understand that reporting to the UMSL Title IX coordinator will require an investigation to be opened.