What if I’ve been Sexually Assaulted?

MSU students, faculty & staff members

Trauma often has a significant impact on academic and employment performance. Victims of sexual harassment (including sexual assault) who are MSU affiliated and whose perpetrators are also MSU-affiliated can report the crime to the MSU Office of Institutional Equity.

Helpful guides in determining next steps for MSU students, faculty & staff members who experience gendered violence can be determined by viewing the University Policy on Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct, as well as the Resource Survival Guide.

The MSU Police and MSU Office for Institutional Equity are not confidential programs but reports made to their office are kept private and treated with sensitivity. The MSU Sexual Assault Program is confidential – information provided to our office is not shared with anyone outside of our office unless we have written consent from our clients.

Call someone for support

Sexual assault is a significant trauma that can effect someone mentally, physically, and emotionally. Sometimes it helps to speak with someone soon after a sexual assault. Consider telling a friend, family member, or MSU faculty or staff member. If you want to notify the police, call the precinct where the crime occurred or 911.

To help sort out your options and receive emotional support, you can call the 24-hour MSU Sexual Assault Crisis Line. One of our trained advocates can speak with you over the phone or meet you at the hospital or police station.

Support Survivors

See the How To be Supportive of a Friend page if you believe someone you know has been sexually assaulted.

24- Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline: (517) 372-6666

Consider going to the hospital

Both your physical and emotional well-being are important. While the risk from a single exposure is low, an exam offers medical treatment as well as prevention of certain Sexually Transmitted Infections and pregnancy. A medical exam could also provide important evidence for prosecution. If you go to a hospital for evidence collection and medical attention, they are required by law to notify law enforcement, but it is not required that you speak to them. Law enforcement officers are available, however, to take your statement at the hospital if you desire. If you go to a clinic (like a Planned Parenthood) for medical attention only, law enforcement will not be called. Sparrow Hospital conducts free medical exams.
If you decide to go, don’t bathe, douche, or change clothes. Washing or changing clothes may remove forensic evidence. If you do bathe, douche, or change clothes, a hospital will still provide a forensic evidence exam. Victims can bring clothing that was worn during the assault or any other relevant items to the hospital for collection. It is recommended to place items in a paper bag rather than a plastic bag, as plastic bags can often cause evidence to be contaminated or destroyed. If you are considering reporting your assault to law enforcement, a forensic exam can be completed within a 120 hour period after an assault.

Consider filing a police report

Making a report is not the same as pressing charges but allows police to conduct an investigation. The length of the investigation will vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Once concluded, the case will be forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office to determine if charges against the assailant will be filed.

Consider speaking with a professional counselor

The effects of sexual assault and trauma are important to explore.  Speaking with a trained professional might help you understand its impact in a safe environment. Making the first call is difficult to do, but we hope you’ll seek services when you’re ready. The MSU Sexual Assault Program provides free and confidential counseling to MSU students and can help provide referrals for non-MSU students. Please contact us to find out more: 517-355-3551.