Steps and Medical Care

Know that sexual assault and partner violence are NEVER THE VICTIM'S FAULT, no matter where or how it happens. No one has the right to have sex with you against your will. The blame for an assault lies solely with the person who assaulted you.

Even if you were drinking or using drugs, even if you consented to other acts like kissing, even if you were dating the person, even if you slept in the same bed as someone...nothing excuses someone forcing you to do something you don't want to do.

After a sexual assault, you have a lot of choices and decisions to make - getting medical care, whether or not to file a campus or police report, who to tell, etc. You may have concerns about the impact of the assault and the reactions of friends and family members. The Victim Advocate recognizes that all of these decisions belong to you alone and is here to listen and inform you of your rights and options.
You may have felt powerless during the traumatic event, but the choice of how to proceed is yours alone. Whatever you choose, you are not alone. Remember that the Victim Advocate is here to discuss any questions you may have and is available to accompany you as you proceed with any of the options below.


Rape Kits/Pregnancy & STI Testing

You can obtain a rape kit even if you're not sure whether or not you want to press criminal charges. Rape kits can be performed by Student Health Services here at ECU during normal business hours or at Vidant Medical Center 24 hours a day. It's best to obtain a kit within five days of the assault, and sooner is better. See the Preserve All Evidence and Post Assault Examination pages below for information on the rape exam. You may also choose to seek a pregnancy or STI test to assess for long-term medical effects after an assault.

Criminal Charges/Actions

You may want to press criminal charges against the person who assaulted you. If this is the case, you can reach out to ECU PD (252.328.6787) or Greenville PD (252.329.4315) to file a report. If you would like to file for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) or a Civil No-Contact Order, you may go to the Pitt County Courthouse at 100 W. 3rd St. during normal business hours.

Campus Reports

Under Title IX, there are certain protections in place at ECU to assist victims of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. These include academic, housing, employment, and campus protections. To file a report with Title IX and/or find out more about these protections, call 252.328.6804 or visit their website.

Counseling

The Victim Advocate is specially trained to provide nonjudgmental and supportive counseling services. To make an appointment, please call the Center for Counseling and Student Development (252.328.6661) and ask to make an appointment with the Victim Advocate.

Preserving DNA evidence can be crucial to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual assault case, especially if the offender is a stranger. Below is some information and guidelines on the post-assault examination.

Preserve all physical evidence of the assault

-Do not eat or smoke
-Do not use the restroom
-Do not comb or brush your hair
-Do not wash your hands or face
-Do not shower or bathe
-Do not brush your teeth
-Do not change clothes/wash clothing or straighten up the area where the assault took place
-Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag. Do not use plastic bags.

A rape kit is a complex exam and usually takes at least 2-3 hours. For more information on what a rape kit entails, please visit this page from the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

The post assault examination, commonly referred to as a rape kit, is a complex exam and usually takes at least 2-3 hours to complete. The medical personnel involved in conducting the exam have been specially trained in how to be sensitive to the needs of victims. For more detailed information on rape kits, please visit this page created by the Rape Incest and Abuse National Network (RAINN).

It is your right to have a friend, family member, or sexual assault advocate present with you during the exam and/or when speaking with police. To request that the Victim Advocate be present, please call 252.737.1466. If you report to Vidant Medical Center for an exam, it is likely that the local crisis center, REAL Crisis, will be dispatched automatically to provide advocacy services. You have the right to decline these services.

Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a description of the assailant.

For more information on specifics of the rape kit, please see this site hosted by the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Under national law, a state must ensure that victims have access to an exam free of charge or with a full reimbursement, even if the victim decides not to cooperate with law enforcement investigators.

Essentially, this new law allows victims time to decide whether to pursue their case. A sexual assault is a traumatic event and some victims are unable to decide in the immediate aftermath. Because forensic evidence can be lost as time progresses, a “Jane Doe Rape Kit” enables a victim to have forensic evidence collected without revealing identifying information. For instance, in some states, victims are given a code number they can use to identify themselves if they choose to report the crime at a later date. Each state has determined different time frames for the storage of a kit. The victim should be informed at the time of the exam as to the length of time the kit will be retained, as well as the disposition of the kit.