Working With Victims

If you know someone who has been a victim of a sexual assault, we encourage you to help that person by calling the police or contacting someone you trust.

We also have listed several ways you can help someone during this difficult time.

Suggestions for Responding to Sexual Assault Victims

A. If there is need for medical care for injuries call 911, or assist the victim to the emergency room at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital ( Encourage the victim to get a pregnancy test and/or tests for sexually transmitted diseases. If the incident was not recent, encourage the victim to talk to a counselor or other trusted individual about the incident.

B. Talk to the victim about contacting either University Police, or the Muncie Police Department. Encourage the victim to report the assault. This is not the same as prosecuting, but delaying a report may affect legal options one may wish to pursue. Recommend the following:

  • Do not touch any possible evidence.
  • Do not wash, shower, or douche.
  • If still wearing the clothes worn during the assault, leave them on. Take a change of clothing to the hospital.
  • If clothes have already been removed, suggest they be placed in a paper bag and given to the police.
  • Recommend that the victim utilize an advocate/support person during the reporting and exam process. This advocate could be you, a professional psychological counselor, a counselor from Victim's Advocacy, a roommate, a friend, or a combination of individuals.

C.  If there is no need for immediate medical care, show the victim to a safe, quiet place where you can provide support and discuss alternatives. Focus on the victim's emotional needs.

  • Ask how you can be most helpful. Try not to take control, since the victim may feel great loss of control of life at this time.
  • Listen sensitively.
  • Discourage self-blame.
  • Ask if the victim would like to have a professional counselor provide support or other services. Assure the victim that information revealed in counseling is kept confidential. Contact the Counseling Center.
  • Encourage medical follow-up at the Health Center.
  • Explain the availability and service of each of the following resources:

Office of Victim Services
Counseling Center
Office of Student Rights and Community Standards
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Deputy Coordinator for Title IX
Health Education

Student Rights and Community Standards
L.A. Pittenger Student Center, Room L-4
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Summer hours: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Phone: 765-285-5036
Fax: 765-285-2856
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