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Sexual Assault

A Guide to services following a sexual assault.

Key Contact Numbers:

UWG Police: 678-839-6000
Carroll Rape Crisis: 770-834-7273
UWG Health Services: 678-839-6452 (free sexual assault exams completed by sexual assault nurse examiners, SANE)
UWG Patient Advocates: 678-839-0641 (Jill Hendricks)  or 678-839-5338 (Corey Hindman)

IF YOU ARE ASSAULTED, HELP IS AVAILABLE
You are not alone.
•  National statistics indicate 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males are sexually assaulted.
• At least 80% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.
• The risk of rape is higher for females ages 14-24 than for any other age group.
• Most victims blame themselves. Don’t let misplaced feelings of guilt stop you from getting help.
• Alcohol is a factor in many sexual assaults involving university students. As a result, sometimes victims are reluctant to seek medical attention. Don’t let alcohol prevent you from getting medical attention.  Your health and safety are our top priority.

 

If you or someone you know has been hurt, UWG has a team who can help. Our goal is to take care of your medical needs, to protect, guide, and support you in your journey of healing. You are always in control with us.

The first step is to take care of your medical needs.  Free medical services for a victim of sexual assault are available 24/7/365 at UWG Health Services. To reach us after business hours, contact  the UWG Police Department at 678-839-6000 and request that they page the physician. You are never forced to file charges by them, even if UWG police are called. You may also call the Carroll Rape Crisis Center at 770-834-7273.

Following an Assault
Make sure you are safe from further harm.
Call UWG Police, your RA, Carroll Rape Crisis Center, or someone you can trust.

In preparation for medical services:
• Don't bathe or douche. Try not to urinate if possible.
• If oral contact took place, do not smoke, eat, drink, or brush your teeth,
• Don’t brush your hair – no matter how much you may want to.
• Your body and clothing can hold clues called “transfer evidence”; it’s what’s left behind by the assailant and the environment. Dirt, hair, body fluids, and traces of skin under your fingernails can be collected and used as evidence.
• If you've already changed clothes, place them in a paper bag (not plastic as it destroys evidence). If you haven't changed, keep the original clothes on, and bring an extra set to wear home. The police may need to keep your clothing as evidence. Health Services and Carroll Rape Crisis also keep extra clothing kits available if needed.
• Medical attention is vital, as you may have injuries of which you are unaware. You may also have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease and could need antibiotics. The medical provider can test you, provide the needed medications, and provide emergency contraception if desired.

UWG HEALTH SERVICES
ALL SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ARE FREE OF CHARGE AND CONFIDENTIAL
678-839-6452
Medical services are provided by either a doctor or a nurse practitioner who is certified as a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). SANEs are doctors or nurses who have completed extensive training in sexual assault treatment and evidence collection. UWG Health Services has four SANES on staff.

Free medical services from our SANEs can include:
Forensic exam to collect evidence
Colposcopy
Medical exam
Preventive antibiotics
Testing for sexually transmitted diseases
The morning-after pill
Follow-up care
Patient Advocacy
Screening for date-rape drugs

While competent care can be obtained at a hospital emergency room, the services are NOT free of charge. 

Patient/Victim Advocates
678-839-0641 (90641 on campus)

The advocate is available to guide victims of sexual assault through the medical process and if the patient chooses to press charges, the advocate can assist with that as well. The advocate is trained in rape crisis and chairs the UWG Sexual Assault Response Team. The Patient Advocate can make referrals to campus and community resources as needed. 
Following is a list of some of the ways the advocate provides assistance - always and only with the permission/agreement of the victim:
• Explains all available medical services and options for prosecution;
• Remain with the patient during the exam explaining the evidence collection process and provide emotional support;
• Help the victim decide whether he/she wants to file formal reports with law enforcement and/or judicial services;
• Advocate for the victim with faculty, other offices, and services as needed
• Address victims’ concerns of safety with university police and others;
• Assist the victim in telling family and  friends (only with permission);
• Remains as a support to the victim as he/she undertakes the journey from victim to survivor;
• Provide contact information for the Carroll Rape Crisis Center at 770-834-7273 and the Victim Advocate of the District Attorney’s Office at 770-830-2171 and will assist in making any needed appointments.

UWG POLICE
A State Certified Police Department
678-839-6000 or (96000 on campus)

• Available 24/7/365
• Dedicated to the protection of the University and its students
• 21 trained police officers
• An Investigative staff assigned to follow up on all criminal incidents, including sexual assaults, which occur on campus. The investigators have all completed extensive training in the investigation of sexual assaults and assisting victims through the trial process.
• Will hold rape evidence kits in their property room until a victim decides whether to press charges

Call UWG Police if you:
• Are a victim of a sexual assault on campus or, if the assault occurred off campus and you need assistance in contacting the proper police agency.
• Are threatened, harassed or stalked
• Need medical assistance
• Are depressed and need to contact a counselor
• Need to develop a safety plan if you have been assaulted or threatened
• Need an escort after hours
• Want to explore whether to press charges
• Know someone in need of help but don’t know where to turn
• Would like to register for their self defense course

Student Development Center
678-839-6428
The university’s counseling center provides confidential, individual counseling and can help a victim move through the journey of healing. Licensed professional counselors can assist victims with the potential after-effects of depression, anxiety, stress, anger, sleep disorders, trauma, rape trauma syndrome (RTS), and post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Counselors are experienced in working with victims of sexual assault at all stages of recovery, from an acute trauma, handling immediate after effects, to helping survivors years after an incident.  Counselors also work with partners of victims to help them understand what's happening with their partner and what they might expect in the relationship.  They provide couples counseling if both parties are students. They are available on call and will also travel to Health Services or the hospital upon request.

Residence Life
678-839-6426
This office works with victims in many ways, including room or residence hall changes if needed and as space permits. Staff can also assist in making needed referrals, including counseling and medical services.

Office of Student Conduct
678-839-4733
Victims of sexual assault have a number of options available to them for recourse against their attacker.  Criminal charges are always an option and are pursued through UWG Police or the police department where the crime occurred.  If the attacker is a student, the victim may ask for disciplinary charges to be brought instead of, or in addition to, criminal charges.  The Office of Student Judicial Affairs works closely with the Victim and the Patient Advocate from Health Services to guide decisions about student judicial charges.

Carroll Rape Crisis Center
 24 hour crisis line at 770-834-7273 or 770-834-RAPE
They, too, will provide 24 hour hospital accompaniment, crisis intervention and support, assistance with the criminal justice system, and community referrals, including professional counseling resources.

Ways to Take Care of Yourself As You Recover
Be sensitive to ways in which your life might get out of balance, which can include sleep disruption, nightmares, eating disorders, difficulties with relationships and academics, sadness, and depression.
• Talk to someone – don’t isolate yourself.
• Know there is a difference between the support of friends and professional. counseling. Both can be very helpful.
• Seek medical attention if needed.
• Take time out for yourself. Playing, creativity, and relaxation are important in stress reduction and in healing. Take up a new hobby.
• Consider keeping a journal to express your thoughts and feelings.
• Maintain a balanced diet and sleep cycle as much as possible.
• Remember - you can heal and we are always here to help you along the way as you take that journey from victim to survivor!