13% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force and violence. Assault is horrifically common, and taking into account that there’s far more of it when considering non-sexual instances, the number is hard to comprehend.
It’s important to take steps to protect yourself on your college campus. However, if it does happen to you, it’s also essential that you know what to do next.
If you’re a victim of assault on your college campus, here’s what you should do next.
Ensure Your Safety
The first and most important thing you need to do after being subject to assault is to make sure you’re safe.
If you’re still in immediate danger, call 911. If your assailant has fleed the scene, you should still call 911 as you head to a place where you’re completely safe.
Ideally, this is somewhere where you won’t be alone and can get someone’s help as you wait for the police. If you are alone, call someone you trust, no matter how late it is.
Although you might just want to try to forget about what happened, it is important you try to preserve evidence after a campus assault. Don’t take a shower and don’t wash your clothes.
If you have any other evidence such as text messages or phone calls, make sure you preserve them too. It is importaint not to delete anything so it can be used to build a strong case.
It’s not something you should have to think about at such a traumatic time in your life but unfortunately, it’s very necessary.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you’re not sure if you need it, when it comes to what to do when assaulted, seeking medical attention is another necessary step. If your campus has a medical center, you can go there, or otherwise, you can go to the nearest hospital.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you may need to take steps to ensure protection against things like STDs. It takes a lot of courage to step forward and seek help, but getting medical attention ensures that this doesn’t physically affect you for a long time to come.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure exactly what you need. Medical staff are trained to provide this help and will be able to listen to you with patience and explain what the best thing for you to do is.
Report the Incident to the Police and Campus
It’s essential that you report the incident to both the police and the campus officials.
Reporting it doesn’t hold you to filing charges, so you don’t have to think about that yet if you don’t want to, but you should definitely make sure it’s on record. It will make filing charges much easier if you do decide to do this.
Unfortunately, many people forego reporting their assault. In fact, only 18% of rapes, for example, are reported, but not reporting it can make the later steps much more difficult.
Now that you’ve had physical help for your injuries and reported the incident, it’s time to consider the help you personally need.
Speaking to friends, family, and a counselor can make a difference. Although your loved ones may provide the best support in the world, a counselor is specifically trained to help you through this and your college campus should be able to point you in the direction of a good one.
Many people avoid therapy because they don’t want to talk about what they’ve gone through and although this is more than understandable, it’s the best option to help with the healing process.
Consider Pressing Charges
Only you can decide if you want to press charges. Many people would rather forget about the whole incident, but it’s important to consider the advantages of pressing charges. It may not feel like it will help you heal and will simply prolong the incident, but closure is what most people need.
Ultimately though, every person has their own path and decisions to make, and you need to decide what’s right for you in that circumstance. If you do decide to press charges, you may need to find a lawyer. Make sure you find someone who has the perfect balance of warmth and professionalism and is ready to fight for you.
Take Care of Yourself
In the long run, it’s important you take care of yourself and find help for victims of assault. Even though you may have already seen a therapist, consider finding a support group and taking care of yourself for as long as you need to.
The most essential thing to remember is that this wasn’t your fault.
The Path is Different for Every Victim of Assault
Every victim of assault has a different journey and deciding what to do afterward is always up to what feels right for you. However, it’s important you get yourself to a safe place, get medical attention, and consider reporting the incident to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else and you get the closure that you need to truly heal.
Your future is what matters. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable college campus crime lawyer in Bradenton, contact us today and we can help you.
Hanlon Law 1111 3rd Ave W Ste 310 Bradenton, FL 34205 (941) 253-0254 https://www.criminalattorneybradenton.net