What To Do If You Or Someone You Know Is Sexually Assaulted
Sexual assault is any sexual act committed against a person without their consent. Consent is a voluntary, verbal agreement between equal and unimpaired partners, without coercion.
Options for Reporting
You have the right to choose whom you tell. You may consider talking to a trusted friend or family member or to any of the university offices listed below. Your parents will not be called without your permission. In the case of a life- threatening emergency, the hospital may call your closest relative, but the nature of your injuries will not be disclosed.
You don't have to decide if you want to prosecute right away, but preserving the evidence helps if you decide to prosecute at a later date. To help preserve evidence:
- Don't bathe or brush your teeth, drink, or smoke before evidence collection.
- If you have already changed your clothes, place them in a paper bag (NOT plastic) to preserve them.
- To collect evidence, ask the hospital to conduct a rape kit exam. If you suspect that you may have been drugged, ask for a urine sample to be collected and try not to pee before the sample is collected.
If or when you are ready, you can report the assault to University Police 24 hours a day at (716) 645-2222, or anonymously online. Call 911 to report to your City or Town Police. It is never too late to report. You can also get assistance from Judicial Affairs by calling (716) 645-6154.
You can also report the incident to the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), who is UB's Title IX Coordinator. EDI investigates reports of discrimination and harassment, and can also assist with coordinating academic, housing or other accommodations. They may be contacted through the EDI web site or by calling: (716) 645-2266.
You won't need to go to court unless you want to press charges, and you don't have to make that decision right away. For more information contact Sub-Board I Legal Assistance .
You can seek an order of protection to keep the person who hurt you away. If you need a legal order of protection, a report needs to be filed with the jurisdiction in which the assault occurred (For information on/assistance with legal orders of protection, contact Crisis Services). On campus orders of protection (only applies to while on campus) can be obtained through the Office of Judicial Affairs without a police report.
You may have injuries that aren't yet evident. Get Medical Attention Immediately. Even if you have no physical injuries, immediate medical care is important to reduce risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. You do not have to press charges to seek medical attention.
For pregnancy, HIV/STD or injury concerns: You can go to any local emergency room for testing, emergency medical care, and/or evidence collection - ECMC is a Center of Excellence for victims of sexual assault, and we recommend this hospital for care following a sexual assault. ECMC is located at 462 Grider Street in Buffalo.
You can visit Student Health Services for HIV/STI testing. Emergency contraception (EC) is available at SBI Health Education, the SBI Pharmacy, Health Services in Michael Hall on South Campus, or Wellness Education Services in the Student Union on North Campus without a prescription for $25 (17 and older w/ photo ID). EC is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy AFTER unprotected sex or the failure of other birth control methods that can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse.
Options for Support, Referrals & Education
Getting help does not mean you have to prosecute. Professionals trained in crisis intervention are available free to UB students, and can help guide you through what services are available to help you choose what happens next:
- Crisis Services , 834-3131 (24 hours)
- UB Counseling Services, 645-2720, 120 Richmond Quad
- Student Health Services, 829-3316
- Student Advocacy, 645-6154
- NY State Office of Victims Assistance, 847-7992 or 1-800-247-8035
- Wellness Education Services, 645-2837
- SBI Health Education , 829-2584
If Someone You Know Has Been Sexually Assaulted
Believe Them. Listen, be there, support them, and don't be judgmental.
Inform them of the options (see information above), but remember it's their decision.
Be patient. Remember, it takes time to process and time to heal. Let them know that professional help is available. Encourage them to contact a Crisis Services Advocate (834-3131) or UB Counseling Services (645- 2720).
Get support for yourself, Counseling Services is also available to you.
If a friend has been sexually assaulted it is not uncommon for them to experience:
- Mood Swings
- Inability to concentrate or relax
- Disturbances in eating and/or sleeping
The health & safety of UB students is always the highest priority. However, students or others may be reluctant to get immediate medical or other professional assistance because of concerns that their own behavior may be a violation of UB rules/regulations. In order to minimize hesitation individuals may have in obtaining help for themselves or others, Judicial Affairs and Student Advocacy has developed a "Good Samaritan" approach:
Although policy violations cannot be overlooked, the University will consider the positive impact of reporting an incident when determining the appropriate response for policy violations. In such cases, any possible negative consequences for the reporter of the problem should be evaluated against the possible negative consequences for the student who needed assistance in determining responsibility and/or potential sanctions. At a minimum, students/student organizations should make an anonymous report by calling University Police at 645-2222 that would put the student in need in touch with professional helpers.
If You Have Information Regarding A Sexual Assault
If you have information regarding a crime that took place in the past, you may still report it to the police.