Responding to Sexual Assault
- Go to a safe place as soon as possible: your home, a friend’s home, a locked car, or a busy public place.
- Obtain assistance. Contact a close friend or other trusted person who can help you clarify what you want to do next. Trained advisors at Western’s CASAS office (360-650-3700) are available to help you. They can help you obtain immediate medical attention if appropriate, provide emotional support, and put you quickly in touch with other resources you may need.
- Preserve all physical evidence available to document a sexual assault or rape. Don’t bathe, shower, or douche until you’ve had a medical examination. You can change clothes, but do not launder what you were wearing at the time of the incident -- keep the clothes in a paper bag to preserve evidence. If the crime scene is accessible to you, disturb it as little as possible. Don’t change or launder bedding.
- Obtain a medical examination in all cases of sexual assault or rape. An exam will check for physical injury and the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. It is important for your well-being. If done promptly, the exam can obtain important evidence that can be used in a criminal prosecution.
- Contact the police to report the assault. CASAS advisers and other WWU personnel are available to assist you in contacting the appropriate law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police. It is important to remember that sexual assault is never the victim's fault and perpetrators should be held accountable.
- Students who have been the victim of a sex offense or other type of sexual misconduct can request modifications in their on-campus living and/or academic arrangements. Requests may involve academic support and changes in class schedules, housing, or phone numbers. CASAS advisers can help arrange changes.