Last updated: December 8, 2017
What can you do if an incident happens?
After any incident, you may feel confused, fearful, guilty, ashamed, or isolated. It’s important to talk with someone about these feelings. Western has a Campus Resource Team (CaRRT) who are professional staff members trained and prepared to help. The University will be particularly sensitive to meeting the needs of each individual.
Find a safe place and call someone you trust
The police will help you whether or not you choose to prosecute the assailant. For an incident on campus, call the WCSU Police Department (203-837-9300). For an off-campus incident, you may call WCSU Police or the local police department (203 797-4611) or 911.
Call the Women’s Center 24-Hour Hotlines:
- Sexual Assault: 203-731-5204
- Domestic Violence: 203-731-5206
- Call a friend, family member, someone whom you trust, or contact a member of CaRRT to help you through this process.
Get medical attention if needed
It is important that you seek medical attention immediately to assess and treat physical injuries you may have sustained, and other health related risks.
Try to preserve all physical evidence of the assault
If a sexual assault has occurred, some forensic evidence should be collected within 24 to 72 hours following the assault.
- Do not drink, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, change your clothes, or comb your hair. It’s only natural to want to do these things, but you may be destroying evidence that could be helpful in an investigation. In the course of your medical examination, this evidence will be collected by a specially trained nurse. If changing clothes is necessary, clothing worn during the assault should be placed in a paper bag.
- Later Medical Evaluation: While immediate medical attention is preferred, delayed medical evaluation is strongly recommended.
Seek emotional care
After any such incident, it may be beneficial to seek professional counseling in order to explore and address the impact of such an occurrence on your life. Two resources are the Counseling Center and the Women’s Center on campus.
The Western Counseling Center provides free and confidential services to students. The center is staffed with professionals trained to provide support and counseling to those who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking and intimate partner violence. The Counseling Center can also provide referrals to other local agencies. To make an appointment, call 203-837-8690.
The Women’s Center operates two 24-hour confidential hotlines (203-731-5204) for those who have experienced sexual assault and (203-731-5206) for those who have experienced intimate partner violence. The Women’s Center has an office on the WCSU campus in Higgins Annex 105C for counseling (203-837-3939). Crisis intervention and advocacy is available; this would include accompanying a victim to police, hospital, and judicial proceedings. All services are free and confidential.