There are several important things you should know about sexual assault:
It is not your fault. No matter what happened to you, no one has the right to hurt you, pressure or coerce you into sexual contact or take away your choice about your body. If you are unsure whether what you experienced is sexual violence, talking to a victim advocate might help you clarify things.
You are not alone. There are many people and services available who want to help you on and off campus. Consider talking with a victim advocate about your options. You can contact the campus victim advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-285-7844.
You can always seek medical attention. No matter when your assault occurred or whether or not you wish to make a report, it is most important that you take care of yourself. There may be injuries as a result of sexual assault that you cannot see.
You can get evidence collected anonymously. If you have been sexually assaulted in the last 96 hours, there may be evidence remaining in and on your body and clothes such as body fluids, hair, and injuries indicative of forced contact. If you would like to have this evidence collected, and you are concerned about confidentiality, you can do so anonymously and have it kept for up to one year so you can decide whether filing a report with police is right for you.
Sexual assault is a crime as well as a violation of Ball State University's policy. You can hold a perpetrator accountable through either or both systems. There is a difference between reporting to police and reporting to Ball State. It is best to talk to the campus victim advocate about the differences between the two systems since what happens next depends on the nature of the case. If you report to Ball State police, your case will most likely be forwarded to the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards.
It is your decision to tell. There is no shame in being a victim of sexual violence—the shame lies with the person who perpetrated the violence. However, for many reasons including your safety, you may be concerned about confidentiality. It is your choice to talk to someone about what happened. At Ball State, the campus victim advocate, medical providers, and counselors at the Counseling Center are completely confidential and are bound not to share anything without your permission unless someone's life is in danger or ordered to by a court of law.
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