What to Do If You've Just Been Sexually Assaulted

If you believe you have experienced an assault — it is not your fault.

It is your right to seek help and support at any time following an assault — from campus counseling services, law enforcement, and your local hospital.

What should you do if you have just been assaulted?

  1. Assess your situation for safety and go to a safe place.
  2. If this is an emergency and you feel your life is in immediate danger call 911, If you feel that you do not need emergency responders and you want to report what just happened, call the police immediately at (231) 995-5150. It is best to call right away to document the incident in its entirety.
  3. If you can, reach out to someone close to you. Try to identify someone that you trust and can be there with you during this time, when support is much needed.
  4. Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not eat, drink, shower, wash your hands, or brush your teeth until after you have been examined by a medical professional and they can get the evidence that they need. If you change your clothing, keep all clothing items that you wore in a separate bag. Use paper bags to contain the clothing. It is very important to not clean or disrupt the area where the assault has occurred.
  5. Get medical attention as soon as possible. Have your support accompany you to the emergency room at Munson Medical Center or Urgent Care. Munson Medical Center SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program for Rape Survivors) provides the necessary support and treatment to preserve the needed physical evidence and medical evaluation. Even if you feel that you have not been physically injured from the assault, it is very important to seek medical attention to see if you have been exposed to any sexually transmitted infections and to determine the possibility of a pregnancy. This can all be discussed with a medical professional at the time you seek medical attention.
  6. If you believe that you have been given a “rape drug” such as GHB or Rohypnol, have the emergency room take a sample of your urine. A urine sample is more effective in determining if you have been given any sort of “rape drug” than a blood sample.
  7. Write down as much as possible of the event after it happens. As time goes on it is very easy to forget specific parts of the assault, which is why documenting is very important. Write down as much identifying information about the assailant as you can recall.
  8. If you have questions, ask trained professionals. During this time there are several decisions and choices to make and it is important to know what your options are. After a sexual assault one needs to think about medical treatment, whether or not they want to make a report to the police and who they want, and will tell about the assault. If you decide to report the assault it is best to call right away to document the incident in its entirety.

There are campus resources in Student Life available to help you through this process. Call (231) 995-1118 to see a counselor immediately and if it is after hours (after 5 p.m.) and an emergency, contact Campus Security at (231) 995-1111. Campus Security will get hold of a counselor to assist you from Student Life. If you are a resident of East Hall, call Campus Security and have them contact Marcus Bennett, Director of Residence Life.

Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) will not tolerate sexual misconduct, as defined in this policy, in any form. Such acts of violence are prohibited by NMC policy, as well as state and federal laws.

Reporting to the Office for Civil Rights

Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 requires that all entities receiving federal funds or financial assistance prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment in their education programs and activities.

Incident reporting to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is an option for resolution of discrimination. To file a complaint:

Office for Civil Rights contact information

The OCR office for Michigan is located at:

Cleveland Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 325
Cleveland, OH 44115-1812
Phone: (216) 522-4970
FAX: ( 216) 522-2573
TDD: (800) 877-8339
Email: OCR.Cleveland@ed.gov

The OCR National Headquarters is located at:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg.
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Phone: (800) 421-3481
FAX: )202) 453-6012
TDD: (800) 877-8339
Email: OCR@ed.gov