If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted...
Sexual assault is an act of violence. Students who are victims of an assault may be in a state of shock and disbelief and may be feeling a variety of emotions such as fear, anger, and helplessness as well as shame and guilt. A victimized student may not know who to trust or turn to for help. This guide is designed to give students resources to help in recovery as well as to reduce the risk of an assault from happening again. Students are encouraged to seek help from the resource people in this guide. There are trained professionals available at Catawba College who can provide information and support. Students are encouraged to use these resources. The College will respect the wishes of the student and will not force them toward any action.
If a student is sexually assaulted, she or he is encouraged to:
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Understand that the assault was not your fault, nor did you do anything to cause it or deserve it. 100% of the responsibility lies with the person who assaulted you.
- Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing if it can be avoided. If changing clothes is a must, put all clothing worn at the time of the attack in a paper bag, not plastic (this is important for evidence collection).
- Contact any one of the following Catawba College offices to report the crime and receive assistance:
- Public Safety at (704) 637-4000
- College Chaplain at (704) 637-4446 or 704-231-3128
- Student Affairs at (704) 637-4410
- Health Services at (704) 637-4404
- Counseling Services at (704) 637-4307
- Residence Life staff member
- Report the crime to the Salisbury Police Department at 911 (non-emergency calls 704-638-5333). This is a personal decision that only the student who has been assaulted can make. Understand that making a report does not require the victim to press charges. Consider that the perpetrator may have had previous victims, and if attention is not brought on their behavior, it is possible that there will be more victims in the future.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible to address physical health needs and to collect important evidence in the event of a later decision to take legal action. For the purpose of effective evidence collection, physical examination at a local emergency room must take place as soon as possible and no later than seventy-two (72) hours after the assault. For on campus services, call Health Services at (704) 637-4404. For off-campus services, call the Rowan Regional Medical Center Emergency Department at (704) 210-5035
- Talk with a counselor who can provide emotional support and give information about resources while clarifying confidentiality. For on-campus services, call Counseling Services at (704) 637-4307. For off-campus counseling and support services, call the Child and Family Abuse Crisis Council at (704) 636-4718 or the Rape/Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673.
- Confide in someone who can be trusted, a close friend or resident assistant, to turn to for support through recovery. If preferred, a member of the College staff who is knowledgeable about recovery resources can be chosen as a support person. To receive information on the Catawba College Student Conduct Code and procedures, please contact the Dean of Students or the Campus Conduct Officer at (704) 637-4410.
A call to one of these offices does NOT mean that one has chosen to bring criminal charges. These officials are trained to assist in securing medical attention and professional counseling while assuring that evidence of the incident is collected and preserved in the event of a later decision to prosecute.