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What to Do if You Have Experienced Sexual Violence
If you have been sexually assaulted or abused, the sooner you seek help the more options you have available to you. However, regardless of when the incident occurred it is never too late to speak with someone regarding support resources and other options, including legal and campus resolution.
- Get away from your attacker and to a safe place as soon as possible. Call 911 or the University Police Department, 662-241-7777.
- Seek medical attention to assess and treat any injuries, screen for pregnancy and any sexually transmitted infections, and collect evidence (if you consent to do so). If you decide to seek medical attention, you may go to Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle for a physical examination and evidence collection. Campus Health Center will not collect evidence, but can provide a physical examination.
Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle
2520 N 5th Street
Columbus, MS 39705
MUW Health Center
Eckford Hall (on campus)
Nurse Practitioner Hrs. Mon-Fri (8am-4pm)
Evidence can be collected for several days following an incident. If you have changed clothing since the incident, bring the clothing you had on at the time with you to the hospital in a clean paper bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital.
You may take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want.
If you go to the hospital, the police may be called, but you are not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Collecting evidence will not obligate you to any course of action but can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges should you decide to do so, now or at a later date.
- Seek support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support; feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. Call a trusted friend or family member or contact one of the on campus or off campus support resources.
- Talk with your Title IX Coordinator about your options. The Title IX Coordinator will inform you of your supportive resources available, choices on how to proceed with a formal complaint and offer you supportive measures, regardless of whether you choose to make a formal complaint.