What to do if you are assaulted

Initial Response, Options and Rights

  • It may be helpful for your own personal safety to find a safe environment away from the assailant if it is possible.
  • Focus on taking care of yourself and your best interests. Talking to someone in your support system for moral support may be useful to you right after the assault. 
  • For confidential support, crisis advocates are available to provide emotional support and options to you in the aftermath of an assault. Iowa’s Sexual Assault Hotline is a 24 hour support service. The toll free hotline is 1-800-284-7821. There is a confidential on campus 24 hour peer service, Violence Intervention Partner, that you can call or text at 515-512-2972.
    • You also have the right to the presence of an advocate at any proceedings related to the offense, including at Drake proceedings where this individual may act as your personal representative.
  • Reporting the assault to police by calling 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) and/or to Campus Public Safety (271-2222 or 811) is encouraged. Security phones that connect directly to Campus Public Safety are located inside buildings and in heavily traveled outdoor locations across campus.
  • Amnesty will be provided to a victim who reports an under-aged alcohol-related assault under Drake’s Code of Student Conduct.
  • Writing down all the details you can recall about the assault and the assailant may help you if you decide to report.
    • Reporting the assault does not require you to file charges against your assailant. Furthermore, even if you file an initial report, you may decide not to pursue the case at any stage of an investigation. In Iowa, you have 10 years to pursue charges against your assailant.
    • You have the option to request a male or female officer to assist you and you have the right to request their presence until your safety is ensured.
  • You have the right to register as a victim with the county attorney and to be kept informed about the status of your case. You may ask for a no-contact order to be put in place for safety precautions if your assailant is arrested.
  • Consider going to the emergency room to receive medical attention.
    • You have the right to have a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) provide a free, confidential medical examination.
    • The SANE can conduct a sexual assault evidence collection kit to preserve forensic evidence of the assault within 120 hours after its occurrence. Preservation of evidence from you is helpful in this collection process. Showering/bathing, brushing teeth/hair, drinking or expelling fluids can destroy evidence. However, if this has occurred, you can still proceed with an exam within this 120 hour time frame. The collection of bodily evidence may be beneficial for case proceedings. Consider having this exam done if you may want to pursue charges or if you are concerned about your physical health and well-being.
  • This exam also provides free STD, HIV/AIDS and/or pregnancy prevention measures and can be done within or after the 120 hour time frame and includes free follow-up exams if needed.