I Don't Know What to Do
If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
It is completely normal not to know if you want to report an incident of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking, and you have the right to receive information about your options so that you can make an informed decision. You also have the right not to report the incident to the University or to the police if you do not want the incident to be investigated. You can speak confidentially to professional staff at CARE, CAPS, or trained volunteers at the Crisis Center Helpline to discuss options and resources. Crisis Center volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 2-1-1 or 765-742-0244.
Here are some important things for you to know, especially when you are not sure what to do:
It was NOT your fault
People often blame themselves for not getting out of a situation. Know that what happened was not your fault, and you did nothing to deserve or "cause" another person to hurt you.
Asking for help is not a weakness
You may want to report the attack to the police or the University
This decision is up to you. The Frequently Asked Questions regarding the University's Response and Law Enforcement's Response will help educate and inform your decision-making as to whether to report the attack.
In the immediate aftermath of an assault, you should try to preserve all evidence of the attack:
- Do not bathe, wash your hands or clothes, brush your teeth, eat or smoke.
- If you change your clothes, put them in a paper bag and bring them with you to your medical exam.
- If you are still in the location where the attack occurred, do not clean or straighten up or remove anything.
- Consider writing down all the details you can recall about the attack and the person who hurt you.
While you may not know if you want to report the attack today, taking these steps will help preserve important evidence if you do ultimately decide to report the attack to the police or University officials. No matter what, be sure to take advantage of support options on and/or off campus.
Take time to take care of yourself
It is common to feel traumatized, both physically and emotionally. For your safety and peace of mind, consider seeking medical intervention even if you do not believe you want to report the attack. Consider making an appointment with CAPS, especially if you are having difficulty sleeping, eating, feeling anxious or would simply like to speak with someone in a confidential setting.
Do things at your own pace and in your own time
There is no "right" way to respond to an incident of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking, and you should surround yourself with people who support and honor your choices.