Students Who May be Victims of Sexual Misconduct
Your health, safety, and well-being are the University's primary concern. If you or someone you know may be the victim of any form of sexual misconduct or sexual violence, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Students who may be victims of sexual misconduct or sexual assault (the term used in the District of Columbia Criminal Code) should first go to a place where you or the victim is in no immediate danger. Any student in a medical or other emergency situation should go immediately to the Washington Hospital Center for a sexual assault exam. Residence Life staff and other contacts in the On-Campus Resource listing can provide guidance and support in such instances.
Medical Attention and Preserving the Evidence
Immediately following a sexual assault incident, medical attention and preserving the evidence is first and foremost. Following a sexual assault incident, one should not douche, bathe, shower, urinate, or change clothes before seeking medical attention, if possible. The location of the incident should not be disturbed, if possible, also to collect evidence for reporting purposes. These steps will help to preserve the evidence, if one should choose to report the incident. It is recommended to bring change of clean clothes and a paper bag filled with items involved in the incident to the hospital.
Washington Hospital Center is the only local hospital that has a survivor-advocate program and sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE). Other hospitals or health centers may be visited, but SANE at Washington Hospital Center are specifically trained to work with sexual assault survivors. It is recommended to have a sexual assault nurse examine you within 96 hours of the incident, but even if 96 hours has passed since the incident, a medical examination should be conducted as soon as possible. The sexual assault nurse examination may include STI, HIV, and pregnancy testing and medical treatment. The victim has the right to decline any medical services.
Deaf Abused Women's Network (DAWN) and D.C. Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) offer a survivor-advocate program, if one wishes to have someone with them during the medical exam. The authorities will be contacted to take a report of the incident at the hospital, if requested. An interpreter will be provided by the Washington Hospital Center.
Regardless of whether or not a student chooses to formally report sexual misconduct, it is important that he or she get appropriate medical attention and emotional support. Students can contact any of the listed campus resources for confidential help in deciding what to do next or for assistance in accessing other resources. Students living off-campus and students who choose not to formally report an incident can still receive services from any of the offices listed under "On-Campus Resources and Off-Campus Procedures and Resources."