You are not alone
If you or a friend has been sexually assaulted, please know there are many people and resources to help. As a victim of sexual assault, sometimes reaching out is the last thing you want to do. Most people just want the assault to go away, so they can move forward and try to forget about it. The process of getting help can seem overwhelming, but there are people who will make the process as comfortable as possible.
It is Associate Dean of Students Craig Chatriand's job to work with you in deciding your course of action in regard to sexual assault and rape, as well as other forms of interpersonal violence. He will explain university policy, processes and options in reporting an issue, and will connect you with resources to ensure you are supported in your decision and have every opportunity to achieve your academic and personal goals. Craig is experienced and highly trained in working with survivors, and is responsible for investigating allegations of violations of the UI Student Code of Conduct. Students who violate the code can be expelled and blocked from campus.
What to Do
- Get safe: If the assault has happened within the last few hours, safety is your priority. Get to a safe place, and ask a friend to stay with you. If you have any concerns for your immediate safety, call 911 or go to the Moscow Police Department at 118 E. 4th Street in downtown Moscow.
- Call For Help: Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse offers a 24-Hour helpline at (208) 883-HELP (4357) and emergency response to the hospital, police station, dorm room or other living space, no matter what time it is.
- You can speak with an advocate for confidential and anonymous support. This advocate can help walk you through the process of seeking medical help, preserving evidence and reporting the crime, based on what you a comfortable with.
- Preserve Evidence: Try to preserve all evidence of the assault. Avoid drinking, bathing, showering, douching, brushing your teeth, or changing your clothes. Evidence can be collected at an emergency room and you can decide later whether or not you want to press criminal charges. Collecting physical evidence must occur within 96 hours (4 days).
- Write Down Details: Try to write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident including a physical description of the perpetrator, their identity if you know it, and the use of threats or force.
- Get Medical Attention: At our local hospital, Gritman Medical Center, a trained medical professional can assess for injuries, STDs, and pregnancy. The staff can answer your medical questions and gather evidence if you chose to report the assault. Adults who go to a hospital in Idaho do not necessarily have to report the assault. A trained sexual assault advocate from Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse can accompany you to the hospital and/or police station if you wish. The advocate is there to offer you support, answer your questions and help you through the process. An advocate can talk with you about your options, including decisions around reporting. The information you share with a sexual assault advocate is confidential. Services are available regardless of whether or not you decide to report the incident to the police. It is suggested that you bring a change of clothing with you if possible. Any clothes worn at the time of the assault may be collected as evidence.
- Seek counseling and other support services. The University of Idaho's Counseling & Testing Center can support you in processing the assault and its consequences.
- There is no one "right" response a victim should provide to sexual violence.
- Sexual assault can be a life-threatening situation and whatever you did to survive was the right thing to do.
- Sexual assault can happen to anyone.
- Please see How to Help a Friend and Resources for more guidance in responding to a disclosure of sexual assault.
- Healing from sexual assault is challenging, but it definitely can be accomplished. Research shows survivors who reach out for support experience a faster recovery.