I've been assaulted. What do I do?
Understanding what happened to you can be unclear and overwhelming. Deciding whether or not to report an incident
can be a stressful and confusing choice. Read the information below to
understand what happened to you and what your options are.
Was I Raped?Consider the following questions for you or a friend
Did both people have the capacity to give consent
for sexual acts?
In Arizona, the law states that someone is unable to
give consent if they
are mentally impaired including impairment caused by drugs and alcohol. The law also includes impairment caused by a
“mental disorder”, “mental defect” and “sleep”.
participants agree to take part in what happened?
law states that consent is not obtained if someone is “coerced by the immediate
use or threatened use of force” or “deceived as to the nature of the act”. This means that a threat of harm is enough,
there does not necessarily need to be a weapon involved.
survivors of sexual assault may be confused about what happened to them because
it does not match up to what they think rape is. Visit RAAIN’s website for answers to more common
questions. If you are unsure about
whether you have been raped or sexually assaulted, contact Victim Witness by
calling (928) 679-7770 or (928) 774-1414 and request that an advocate be
paged. Victim Witness can also explain
your legal rights and options in the case that you or someone you know was sexually
Victims of Sexual Assault
Your safety is the number one priorityFollow these steps
- Find a safe environment — anywhere away from the perpetrator. If you are at immediate risk, contact the police. You can give the police as much or as little information as you wish, or request that they contact a victim/witness advocate, who will help you understand the process and provide support. Call the Northern Arizona University Police Department at 928-523-3611 or the Flagstaff Police Department at 928-774-1414.
- If there is serious physical injury, go immediately to a hospital emergency room to be examined.
- If the victim reports the sexual assault to Flagstaff Medical Center, the nurses and doctors there are required to notify police and make an incident report, but the victim is not required to talk with the police unless they choose to. The victim will be treated for injuries and taken to Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault if they wish to proceed with the report and there is no medical reason for them to remain at the hospital.
- If there is no serious physical injury, go to a medical center as soon as possible to be examined for sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy. Medical Services available for all university students.
- Know that what happened was not your fault and that you should do what is best for you. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support.
- Call Victim/Witness Services at (928) 679-7770 if you would like advice and support and to clarify your options.
- Recognize that healing takes time. Give yourself the time you need. If you would like to seek assistance through counseling, contact Counseling Services.
How to File a Report
There are different types of reports you can fileReporting sexual assault
In an anonymous report, no names are used and all effort is made to maintain
the victim's anonymity. No information is included that might identify the
victim; a victim can choose how much information is shared.
An anonymous report can be made through the Office of Student Life, which is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct/Title IX. An
anonymous report can also be submitted online through the Northern Arizona University Police Department. Based on the report, the police will
determine if the university community is in danger. If the community is in
danger, the police would notify the university’s Incident Management Team with
the information. Otherwise, the anonymous report is used to track possible
patterns or areas that could put other students and faculty in danger.
Criminal incident reports
A victim can choose to report as much or as little information as they wish
when they file an incident report, and decide how involved they wish to be in
prosecution. They can file a report through the:
If a victim talks to a counselor at Counseling Services, the information
given will remain confidential and the counseling relationship provides a safe
space for the victim to talk about the assault and how it has affected their
life. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality. If the victim is under the
age of 18 and the perpetrator is over 18, the counselor is mandated to report a
sexual assault. If the victim is seen as a potential harm to themselves or
another person, the counselor must also break confidentiality. These factors
are considered on a case-by-case basis.
There are many steps after filing a criminal reportLearn more about the process
- The police department will send a reporting officer to the victim's location and ensure that they are in a safe place before asking for basic information about the incident. The reporting officer will then have dispatch contact a victim/witness advocate and the victim will be escorted to the NACASA facility. The advocate will provide support to the victim throughout the process. A victim may wish to bring a friend along for additional support.
- The victim will meet with an advocate to discuss their options and what to expect. The advocate does not take a detailed account of what happened.
- A forensic exam is voluntary and can take up to six hours. A Sexual Assault Nurse Adviser (SANE) will ask questions about the incident and conduct a head-to-toe exam and detailed genital exam. The victim can stop the exam at any time. An exam can be done up to five days after an incident.
- The SANE nurse will check the body for bruises, touch the body to check for sensitive areas, comb pubic hair, and examine the area of penetration. Photos may be taken.
- The SANE nurse will offer the patient a urine pregnancy test, morning after pill, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) preventative medication. The victim will be referred to receive full STI testing.
- The victim will be given a change of clothes and taken to the "soft room" at NACASA, where they can speak to a detective who will then take a detailed account of the incident.
- The advocate will ensure that the victim has a safe place to go and will follow-up and continue supporting the client throughout the investigative process.