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What to do if an assault happens

Many students do not know where to turn for help or what steps to take after an assault has been committed. Although the choices about which option to explore rest solely with the affected student, St. Ambrose encourages student to take the following steps:

  1. Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
  2. Immediately contact Campus Security (911 from any campus phone) or seek out someone you trust and who knows how to help you. Maybe a room mate, RA, or Sexual Assault Advocate.
  3. Victims of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical attention, available 24 hours at Genesis West or Genesis East Hospitals (421-1000), or at another medical facility.

If at all possible, do not change clothes, shower, bathe, douche, or urinate. Emergency room personnel are trained to check for injuries, as well as collect the physical evidence necessary for the proof of criminal sexual assault, should you decide to pursue charges through the Davenport Police Department.

Please be aware that hospital personnel are obligated to contact both the police and the QC Rape/Sexual Assault Counseling & Advocacy Program (R/SACAP). Although you are not obligated to do so, victims or sexual assault are highly encouraged to take advantage of R/SACAP's free and confidential services to help you understand your options for off-campus proceedings and to receive counseling specific to your needs.

You may choose, immediately or later, to be put into contact with a member of the St. Ambrose Sexual Assault Advocacy Team (SAAT). The advocate's role is to listen to you and support you through exploring your options regarding: seeking medical treatment; on- and off-campus counseling resources; what is involved in the law enforcement and judicial processes; and the university process for reporting a sexual assault incident and filing a complaint.

An SAAT member is not a counselor. Rather she/he serves as your on-campus supporter, helping you to understand your options and staying with you throughout the university process to assist you in determining the decisions best for you. Remember: you are not alone. 

Beginning January, 2013, SAAT now has multiple advocate options for students. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you could choose to speak to either a student advocate, a staff advocate, or a counselor. Additionally, you may choose to speak with an outside advocate through Family Resources. To talk to an advocate, refer to this list.

If you know someone who has been raped, here are some ways you can help.

  • Be supportive. Do not blame the victim. They did not ask to be assaulted.
  • Listen. Respond to what she says she needs-not what you think she needs.
  • Support her in calling a rape crisis center and getting medical attention.
  • Offer to help make phone calls for her. Offer to drive her to the hospital, police station and rape crisis center.
  • Offer to stay with her during the medical examination and interviews.

What if I am a male victim?
As a man, you can be sexually assaulted by an acquaintance. You may be pressured or forced into unwanted sex by a friend, relative, date or other acquaintance. If this happens to you, you are entitled to the same services and legal remedies as any other victim.

If you are sexually assaulted, you may fear that your masculinity is in question. You may ask: Why couldn't I protect myself? Has this ever happened to any other man? If the attacker is a female, you may fear that no one would believe your story or that you would be laughed at.

It's important to remember that sexual assault is a crime. You are not at fault. You are entitled to support--to medical care, legal assistance and counseling. You may want to call a rape crisis center for help in getting these services.

Some of this information has been adapted from a publication by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (2000)