What to do After a Sexual Assault

In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault...


Get to a safe place.

If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.
Your safety and wellbeing are important.

Reach out to someone you trust for emotional support.

It's important to find people who can provide support immediately after the sexual assault, as well as during the weeks, months, or even years as you heal from this traumatic experience.

The Family Crisis Resource Center's 24-Hour Helpline is always available at 301.759.9244. A trained advocate is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to help answer questions, review options, and help identify what area resources can best be of assistance. The call is FREE and confidential.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), located in Sand Spring Hall, has trained counselors who can provide confidential support and assistance to current students. CAPS offers individual and group counseling for those who experience sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking as well as to students who may need support in assisting a friend who is a survivor. There is no cost for counseling services. Counselors are available from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

You can also reach out the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.4673.

Seek medical attention.

It is okay if you have not yet made a decision on whether to report the sexual assault to law enforcement. There may, however, be evidence on your body and clothes that should be collected and stored in the event you decide to pursue a criminal investigation. further, seeking medical assistance can help to address any injuries, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy prevention, and other medical support.

The Western Maryland Regional Medical Center located at 12500 Willowbrook Road in Cumberland has a certified forensic nurse examiner who can perform a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) for sexual assault survivors. Under Maryland law, the tests and procedures at the hospital are free of charge if treatment is sought within 90 hours of the assault. Additionally, you have the option of reporting the assault to the police or you can remain anonymous and have the evidence held for a time with no identification. An advocate from the Family Crisis Resource Center (at 301.759.9244) will also be on hand to provide support.

The University can also arrange transportation to any student seeking a SAFE Exam by reporting to Brady Health Center.

Review reporting options.

Choosing whether to report a sexual assault can be a difficult decision that is often made over time. In making this important decision, it may be helpful to consider your various reporting options.  Please see our Reporting Options page for more information on your options.

Take care of yourself.

There is no single reaction to being sexually assaulted. You may experience a host of emotional and physical reactions. Seeking continued support through CAPS, FCRC, or other therapeutic means can help you heal.

For more resource information, please visit the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.