The immediate aftermath of a sexual assault can be painful and confusing. You may feel scared and alone, and you may not know where to turn for help. Listed below are some steps you can take immediately following a sexual assault. These steps are not required but may help you get the best possible care in an emergency.
For Immediate Help
If you need emergency attention and support directly following an incident of sexual violence:
- Get to a safe place.
- Avoid washing, douching, brushing your teeth, or changing your clothes. While this may be difficult, preserving any evidence is important in case you decide to report the assault to the police.
- For immediate help, contact Campus Security (207-859-5911), the Dean on Call (207-859-5530), or the Waterville Police Department (911)
- To seek immediate and confidential medical attention, call Colby Emergency Response (207-859-5911) or go the Hospital Emergency Room (MaineGeneral Medical Center-Thayer Campus, 149 North Street, Waterville, ME 04901)
- To have a forensic medical exam and complete a rape kit, go to the Hospital Emergency Room (MaineGeneral Medical Center-Thayer Campus, 149 North Street, Waterville, ME 04901)*
- For 24-hour anonymous support, contact the Maine Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line: (1-800-871-7741 or 888-458-5599). This hotline is hosted by a county-wide sexual violence initiative; it is not affiliated with Colby College.
- For additional on-campus support, call a CA and/or a trusted friend.
- Consider reporting the assault. You may report the assault to the College or to local police. Going to the hospital to seek medical attention does not obligate you to report the crime.
*If you would like to have a forensic medical exam conducted, it is important that you go to the Hospital Emergency Room as soon as possible, ideally within 96 hours of the incident. At MaineGeneral Medical Center-Thayer Campus, a specially trained SANE nurse will conduct your exam and a support person from Maine Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center will be made available. Promptly getting a forensic medical exam is important if you think you might report your sexual assault to the police, but getting a forensic medical exam does not obligate you to file a police report.
For Continuing Care
The physical and emotional effects of sexual violence can be persistent. Whether you experienced sexual violence last week or last year, it is important that you get the necessary support. Here are some steps you might take:
- To address any injuries or medical symptoms related to the assault, contact Colby’s Health Services (207-859-4460). They will provide confidential and professional medical care and/or make an appropriate referral to a local physician.
- For confidential emotional support, contact Colby’s Counseling Services (207-859-4460) and/or Colby’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (207-859-4272).
- Consider reporting the assault.
Students can choose to access these services at any time. Likewise, students can choose to report an incident of sexual violence at any time.