How to Help Yourself

While everyone responds to the trauma of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault differently, there are some common feelings victims may experience.

  • Go to a safe place. You may want to contact someone you know and trust to be with you.
  • Contact a resource. On campus, please call Campus Police (911 or 209-667-3114).
  • You always have the option of contacting an off-campus resource. The Haven Women's Center of Stanislaus hosts a 24-hr. hotline: 209-577-5980 or 888-454-2836.
  • Preserve evidence. Please do not shower, change clothes, douche or brush your teeth. It is very important to preserve evidence for evidence collection, which provides proof of a criminal offense should you decide to press charges.
  • Seek medical treatment. Above all, you need to take care of yourself. You can go to the Student Health Center, or talk with the Title IX Coordinator or the University's Counseling Center to find locations where you can receive treatment for injuries and tests for pregnancy and/or STDs.

  • Changes in appetite (eating too much/too little, not feeling hungry, etc)
  • Changes in sleeping patterns, difficulty falling asleep, having nightmares
  • Feeling shocked, numb, or detached from reality
  • Feeling ill or nauseous
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling dissociated from the event
  • Inability to remember details of the event
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Discomfort with sex
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Fear of being damaged or worthless
  • Feeling responsible for the attack
  • Feeling guilty, shameful, or embarrassed
  • Feeling moody
  • A lack of interest in things that once made you happy
  • Feeling anxious or jittery
  • Denying anything actually happened
  • Difficulties with interpersonal or romantic relationships
  • Decline in academic or work performance

There are a couple of ways that you can make a report.

  • UPD: If you would like to make a report through the University Police Department, you can contact the department by calling 209-667-3114 or by going to UPD's office in the Campus Services Building. Even if the assault did not happen on campus, the university's police department can assist you with reporting to the appropriate law enforcement office.
  • Stanislaus Family Justice Center: If you would like to access the resources of the Stanislaus Family Justice Center, they can assist with a forensic medical examination, contacting the appropriate law enforcement office, counseling and safety planning.

How to Help Someone Else

  • Believe them! The best thing you can do for your friend is to believe them when they tell you they were sexually assaulted.
  • Give them control. Sexual assault victims need the chance to re-establish a sense of personal control over what happens in their lives. A victim may need to be heard, respected, process options available to them, and move at his/her own pace through the recovery process.
  • Time is of the essence. Your friend will be in crisis and in need of immediate support. Also, the window for securing evidence for possible prosecution is short. At the same time, the victim will need time and ongoing support to recover from the assault in a constructive manner.
  • Be a partner in healing. In addition to the effects it has on the victim, rape profoundly affects the victim's loved ones.

If you have a friend who has been accused of sexual assault, here are some tips for helping them through this difficult time.

  • Direct your friend to resources. There are individuals on campus who are available to talk with a person accused of sexual assault. They can help your friend understand what might happen next. This is a difficult, confusing, and emotional time for both of you. Encourage your friend to speak with the Title IX Coordinator to learn more about what to expect.
  • Recommend that your friend seek counseling. There are a lot of emotions that can surface because of a sexual assault accusation. A counselor can help your friend sort through these emotions in a healthy way. It may also be helpful for you to seek counseling to deal with the emotions you may be experiencing as a result of this situation.
  • Get educated on the issue of sexual assault. The more information you know, the better you will understand what your friend is going through. The information on this website can be helpful in answering your questions. You may also contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Office of Judicial Affairs.
  • Be available to listen. Even though your friend may be uncomfortable talking about the matter, let them know that you are available to listen to them.
  • Avoid judging. Remember, being a friend does not mean that you need to agree with everything your friend does. You can help your friend without making a judgment as to whether or not a sexual assault occurred.

Updated: September 11, 2023