I Have Been Assaulted In the Last Week

When dealing with a recent incident, you have access to services and support. You might not even be sure if something has happened to you, for example, if you think you might have been drugged. Our advocates are trained to help you work through the confusion that comes as a result of trauma, and access the right resources.

DO

  • Do what feels right to you right now. Prioritize yourself and your own well being.

  • Understand that we can help you navigate the resources and systems available to you.

  • Keep the clothing you were wearing (including undergarments) at the time of the assault, and any bedding that might contain evidence in a paper (not plastic) bag and bring to the hospital with you if you decide to go.

  • If you have to urinate, collect it in a clean vessel to bring with you to the ER if you choose to go for an exam.

DON'T

  • Clean, rearrange or alter the scene of the crime.

  • Cover or treat any injuries.

  • Take a shower or clean yourself if you plan to go for a hospital exam.

  • Assume you are alone in this. We are here for you.

Do I Need Medical Attention?

Survivors of sexual violence have the right to seek medical treatment in an emergency room after an assault, free of charge. You can get contact information and directions to hospital emergency rooms in Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties here. If you decide you want medical attention, tell the nurse at the Emergency Room reception desk that you have been assaulted and you will be shown to a private room. A specially trained forensic nurse will be paged to help you. In Hennepin County, the nurse will be dispatched from the Sexual Assault Resource Service.

Once you arrive, the hospital will call us.  We will do our best to send an advocate to support you through the process. You do not have to worry about calling us yourself.

You can get medical treatment, including a physical examination, to make sure any injuries get treated. You will be offered medication to treat a range of sexually transmitted infections as well as Plan B to prevent pregnancy.

At the same time that you get medical treatment, the nurse could collect evidence for what is called a "rape kit." A rape kit could be important if you decide you want to press criminal charges. You do not have to decide right away if you want to bring this case to law enforcement. But if you think you might want to keep that option open for yourself in the future, a rape kit must be done within 120 hours of the assault.

If you are unsure of the HIV status of the perpetrator and concerned that you are at risk, you can get access to special medicine that can help prevent you from contracting HIV within 72 hours of the assault.. But it is important that you act fast and seek treatment as early after the assault as you can. 

 

Do I Need to Make a Police Report?

You get to decide if you want to contact law enforcement to make a report. You can go to the hospital for an exam after an assault without making a police report. When you decide you want to speak with the police, our advocates can support you through the process of making a report.

It is important that you report the crime in the precinct or city where it occurred (not necessarily where you live).

Click here if you are unsure where to report.

I'm Having a Hard Time Dealing With What Has Happened

We offer free counseling support. You can reach our advocates 24 hours a day on our crisis line at (612) 871-5111 or (952) 448-5425.

Our advocates are available for in-person counseling. We offer up to ten sessions free of charge, and work with a number of therapists who we can refer you to for continuing support. We do accept walk-ins, but encourage you to make an appointment by calling our crisis line during business hours.

We coordinate several support groups and are always taking names on the waiting lists to get new groups started. Call the crisis line during business hours for more information.

My Situation is Different

Sexual violence takes many forms. If you are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace or school, street harassment or another type of sexual violence, our advocates have the resources to support you.

Reach out to us by calling our 24-hour crisis line at (612) 871-5111 or (952) 448-5425.

I Don't Have Any Money to Pay For Services. Can I Still Get Help?

Yes. Medical and forensic exams for victims of sexual assault are free of charge in emergency rooms.

All services offered by the Sexual Violence Center are always free of charge.

Financial support for expenses related to sexual assault can be available to victims in the state of Minnesota who report the crime to the police. We can help you file a claim for these Crime Victims Reparations.

For more information from the Office of Justice Programs, visit:  

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/help-for-crime-victims/Pages/crime-victims-reparations.aspx

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/forms-documents/Documents/Financial-Help-English.pdf

You can download a copy of the Crime Victim Reparations Claim Form here:

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/forms-documents/Documents/Reparations-claim-form-English.pdf

 

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