If You Have Been Assaulted

The needs of someone who has been sexually assaulted vary from person to person and may vary over time. You have access to on-campus and external resources, many of which may be accessed 24 hours a day, so that you may choose what you find most helpful and healing.

The Next Steps...

  1. Find a safe environment — anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support and to accompany you if you go to a hospital or police. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  2. Know that what happened was not your fault and that now you should do what is best for you.
  3. Report the attack to an authority of some kind:
    • You can contact Campus Safety by dialing "5111" from a campus phone, or 562-777-4000.
    • You can contact the University's Sr Title IX Coordinator, Sandy Hough, during office hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m) at 562-944-0351 x5807, Student Services Bldg.
    • You can contact someone in Student Development, including Residence Life, Commuter Life, or Student Care, during office hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
    • What will Biola do if I report this?
    • You can contact local police/sheriff by calling 911. A counselor on the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE can help you understand the process.
    • Until you decide whether or not you will contact the police, you should:
      • Preserve evidence of the attack - don't bathe or brush your teeth until you can be examined by a medical professional.
      • Write down all the details you can recall about the attack & the attacker.
      • Ask a doctor or hospital to conduct a sexual assault forensic examination to preserve evidence. Local hospitals with 'sexual assault response teams' are listed here.
      • If you suspect you were drugged, ask that a urine sample be collected. The sample will need to be analyzed later on by a forensic lab.
  4. If you decide that you will never report, you should still:
    • Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy. Local hospitals with 'sexual assault response teams' are listed here.
    • Get emotional support and/or counseling. There are often serious emotional after-effects from the trauma (see below).
    • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for free, confidential counseling, 24 hours a day: 1.800.656.HOPE.
  5. Recognize that healing from sexual assault takes time. Give yourself the time you need.
  6. Know that it's never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, the National Sexual Assault Hotline or the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.

Biola urges anyone who has been sexually assaulted to seek professional support as soon as possible to minimize and treat physical harm, assist with processing the unique and complex emotional aftermath, and help preserve and understand options for legal recourse including criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation. Even if the victim does not wish to report the event, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is important. At any point that an individual is ready to come forward, Biola is prepared to help her or him.

What will Biola do if I report this?


After-Effects of Sexual Assault

Due to the seriousness of trauma that often comes with the fallout of an attack, it is extremely important for victims of sexual abuse to get professional help. You might not feel like you need counseling; however the emotional and mental aftereffects can suddenly catch up with you, especially during periods of high stress in your life as a student.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Prolonged feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear can be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Self-Harm: Some survivors of sexual assault may use self-harm to cope with difficult or painful feelings.
  • Flashbacks: It’s possible for memories of a past trauma to feel like they are taking place in the current moment.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections: STIs can occur during any sex act, even if this contact was unwanted or forced.
  • Depression: Feelings of sadness and unhappiness that have a negative impact on your life could be a sign of depression.
  • Substance Use: There are a number of reasons that survivors report using substances like alcohol and drugs.
  • Other effects may occur, including pregnancy, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts.

So even if you choose not to report this assault to the police, Biola's Title IX Office or Campus Safety, please get help for yourself.

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