Immediate Steps

LET’S BE CLEAR…

There are steps you can take immediately after incident

While there is no one right way to get help, below are some suggested steps you can take following an experience of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking.

 

Important Phone Numbers

 

Immediate steps

  • Go to a safe place. On-campus, your RA’s room, a friend’s room, or any open offices are good choices.
  • Call someone you trust. A friend, family member or victim advocate are all good resources. You do not have to go through this alone.
  • Preserve evidence. After sexual violence, do not shower until you have considered whether to have a no-cost sexual assault forensic exam. You do not need to make a formal report or press charges to have a sexual assault forensic exam. Save the clothes you were wearing (unwashed) in a paper or cloth bag. After sexual violence, relationship violence, and/or stalking, take photos of any damage or injury and keep communication records (i.e. texts, emails, letters).

Within 24 hours

  • Seek out support. You may want to turn to a confidential advocate or counselor or any of the on-campus resources for support and information. They will talk with you about your options for additional support services and reporting.
  • After unwanted physical contact, get medical care. A medical provider can check and treat you for physical injury, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. You do not need to make a formal report or press charges to receive medical care. But if you decide to report the assault in the future, getting medical care, including a sexual assault exam within 120 hours (5 days) of an assault can allow for collection and preservation of important forensic and/or DNA evidence.

 

At any time

  • Consider making a report. There are two channels to make a report regarding what happened to you. The first is with the police and the other is with UCF’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). You are encouraged to report through both channels but, ultimately, that decision is yours and yours only. Keep in mind that OIE is a University office and there are differences between reporting to OIE and filing criminal charges with the police. As stated in the Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Interpersonal Violence and the Golden Rule Student Handbook, the University will not pursue disciplinary action against Complainants or witnesses for disclosure of illegal personal consumption of drugs or alcohol where such disclosures are made in connection with a good faith report or investigation of Prohibited Conduct.
  • You can ask for Remedial Measure only. Even if you do not want UCF to investigate the incident, the Title IX Remedial Measures Specialist can help you access services and accommodations which can help support you as you continue your education. The Title IX Remedial Measure Specialist can help assist you with changes to your housing, classes, work, student activities and more.

Why is Medical Care Important? +

LET’S BE CLEAR….

Medical Help is Confidential Help

It is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after incidents of relationship violence and sexual assault not only to address physical injuries, but also, to begin coping with the complex emotional issues surrounding these types of incidents. In times of emotional stress, people tend to minimize their own feelings out of self-protection or consideration for the feelings of people they love. Although you may feel fine physically, your body may be numbed by a state of shock, so it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible. You may need treatment even if there are no visible signs of physical injury. If you choose to have evidence collected, the sooner this is done, the more reliable and potentially useful the evidence will be. A sexual assault exam and evidence collection can be conducted up to 120 hours (five days) after the assault.

 

It is important to seek medical care after a sexual assault in order to:

  • be examined and treated for any injuries;
  • be treated for exposure to sexually transmitted infections;
  • be offered emergency contraception;
  • collect physical and biological evidence should you decide to report the assault to the police for possible prosecution of the offender.

What to expect during a sexual assault exam +

Who Makes Decisions Regarding My Care and Treatment?

Consent & Rights:

  • You must be awake and oriented, and able to participate in your care in order to consent to have a sexual assault exam.
  • Healthcare providers should not conduct a sexual assault exam or collect physical evidence without your permission.
  • You do not have to report to law enforcement in order to have a sexual assault exam conducted and evidence collected, or to have the state pay for it.
  • Once you consent to the non-reporting sexual assault exam, there is no time limit for you to decide if or when you wish to report to the police.
  • You have the right to have a certified sexual assault counselor/advocate person present during the sexual assault exam, if you choose. Their services are confidential and free of charge.
  • You have the right to decline any part of the examination or treatment and the right to ask any questions you may have. You also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.
  • You have the right to culturally sensitive care in a timely manner, without judgment or bias.

 

What will happen during a Sexual Assault Exam?

Basic components of a sexual assault exam include:

  • History: consists of a narrative and questions related to the assault, as well as past and present medical history. It is intended to help identify injuries related to the assault and guide evidence collection.
  • Physical Assessment: the purpose is to identify injuries and document physical findings.
  • Evidence Collection: the CT100 State of Florida Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kit is the standardized sexual assault kit used by all SANE’s in Florida.  This process includes 13 steps and the exam is conducted in a sensitive and respectful manner. Any step in the exam can be declined. The CT400 Toxicology Screen Evidence Collection kit is the standardized kit used in all CT hospitals where drugs or alcohol are suspected to have been used to facilitate a sexual assault. Both the CT100 and CT400 require consent.
    • The evidence collection kit includes retrieving a variety of samples including debris (soil, fibers, grass, etc.), blood, hair, urine, and genital swabs.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy risk evaluation and preventive care: medications are given to prevent STIs and emergency contraception is offered to prevent pregnancy.
  • Discharge, follow-up and referrals: instructions are given regarding follow-up care for medical and counseling purposes.

The sexual assault exam takes an average of 3-4 hours. This may be less or more, depending on the circumstances and extent of needed care.

 

Sexual Assault Exams on the UCF Main Campus

Sexual Assault Exams are currently unavailable at UCF Health Services

If you have delayed disclosure beyond the 120 hours, or you have decided that you will never file a police report, you can obtain a well-being exam at the UCF Health Center. Please discuss this with your UCF Victim Advocate as there are specific requirements for this option.

  • If you have been the victim of a sexual assault or have any questions about services or referrals, confidential advocacy is available to you any time of day or night through:
    • UCF Victim Services
      • Hotline: 407-823-1200 (24/7)
    • Sexual Assault Treatment Center
      • Hotline: 407-497-6701

 

Follow-Up and Referral

Follow-up care for medical and counseling purposes is important.

 

You may be seen by your private physician or, as a UCF student, follow-up care can be provided at UCF Health Services. It’s best if you call as soon as possible to make a follow-up appointment. UCF students also may receive follow-up care through UCF Counseling and Psychological Services.

 

WHERE SHOULD I GO?

UCF Campus: Students, Faculty or Staff in Orange County may seek treatment from the University’s Health Services. Health Services can assist with arranging for a sexual assault exam by contacting a UCF Victim Advocate on your behalf who will discuss all of your options and can transport you to the local Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC) for a reporting or non-reporting forensic exam.

 

Hospital Emergency Departments do not offer sexual assault exams in Orange, Seminole or Osceola Counties unless there are other serious injuries that will require immediate medical intervention and a potential stay at the hospital.

 

The Sexual Assault Treatment Center:  The Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC) provides 24/7 access to specially trained SANE nurses who provide compassionate and culturally sensitive care to adult and adolescent victims of sexual assault. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, called SANEs, conduct sexual assault exams (also called medical-forensic exams) to identify injuries, collect and document physical evidence using a standardized evidence collection kit including assessment and evidence collection in suspected drug-facilitated sexual assaults. They also conduct risk evaluation for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and ensure the provision of preventive medications and emergency contraception. Additionally, SANEs provide resources and referrals for follow-up at discharge. SANEs are trained in courtroom testimony.

 

A sexual assault exam and evidence collection can be conducted up to 120 hours (five days) after the assault.

  • If seeking treatment directly after the assault, please do not:
    • Change clothes (bring, or have someone bring, a change of clothes)
    • Shower or bathe
    • Wash or wipe
    • Douche
    • Drink
    • Eat
    • Smoke
    • Brush your teeth
    • If you must use the bathroom, do no wipe, only dab.

 

Taking these precautions before the sexual assault exam allows you to keep your legal options open as long as possible. These activities can destroy evidence.

  • If seeking treatment and it is not directly after the assault:
    • Place the clothes you wore at the time of the incident in a clean paper bag (not plastic). Bring them with you to the forensic exam. Let your SANE nurse know you have them, and tell them if you have done anything else (washed, etc.) before you arrived. Bring a change of clothes with you to include underwear in the event they will retain your clothing for evidence purposes. If you do not have time to obtain clothing, new, basic clothing, will be available at the SATC if needed.