If you are a victim of sexual assault, please consider the following:
- Calling the police. You can call the police in the jurisdiction where the violence occurred or you can contact your campus police department. By calling the police you may receive information regarding your rights as well as information regarding the preservation of evidence necessary to the proof of sexual violence.
- Getting medical attention. Even if you don't want to file a police report, consider receiving medical attention at a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic or a hospital as soon as possible. Even though you may not feel any pain, you may be injured. Also, if you are a victim of sexual assault, a sexual assault forensic exam may be performed by a medical professional certified in this area at no cost to you. A person who has been the victim of rape or other sexual assault is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence through what is called a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) performed within 4 days of the incident. Collection of evidence entails interaction with police and a police report. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. If the sexual assault occurred outside of 72 hours, a free and confidential exam still can be administered at local hospitals; however, the sooner a rape or sexual assault is reported, the more likely evidence will remain. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to avoid:
- bathing or douching;
- washing hands or face;
- drinking any liquids;
- smoking, eating, or brushing their teeth;
- if clothes are changed, soiled clothes should be placed in a paper bag (plastic can destroy crucial evidence). Visit Texas Attorney General more information about sexual assault forensic exams. Also visit LASSA to learn more about legal aid for surviors of sexual assault.
- Consulting a confidential resource such as a licensed professional counselor, medical professional or a member of the clergy. These trained professionals can provide counseling, information, and support under legally protected confidentiality. Because these relationships involve privileged conversations, these confidential resources will not share information with the Title IX Coordinator or any other employee of the University without the individual’s express permission. They may, however, submit non-identifying information about the incident for purposes of making a statistical report under federal law.
- Contacting your campus Title IX Coordinator. That person will be able to provide you with the various options available to you and can help you secure any accommodations you might need like an adjustment to your housing or your class schedule. Your Title IX Coordinator is
Ms. Toni Benoit
4367 Wheeler St
Houston, TX 77204
For more information regarding sexual misconduct awareness, prevention, and other resources, please visit Salutations or uhsystem.edu/students/salutations.