What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?

Dean of Students

Step 1: Go to a safe place and get support.
If you are not in a safe setting, as soon as you are able, go to a safe place and contact a friend, a trusted relative, a CF or Campus Safety for assistance in dealing with the situation.
Step 2: Contact SART for support - 507-933-6868
Talk with trained faculty and staff from the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) who provide confidential support to survivors of sexual assault and other forms of intimate partner violence. A SART member can talk with the survivor 24-hours a day about available options for support and safety. SART can work with a student on the following options:
  • Talking confidentially with a counselor
  • Obtaining medical care from Health Service
  • Creating a campus no contact agreement
  • Reporting the incident to the College for investigation • Reporting the incident to the police
  • Receiving assistance for academics
  • Receiving assistance for housing
You can contact SART by calling 507-933-6868.
Step 3: Preserve any Evidence
If the assault happened recently, don’t bathe, put the clothes you were wearing in a paper bag; Refrain from using the bathroom, showering, changing your clothes or brushing your teeth to maximize the ability to gather evidence.
Step 4: Get medical care
If the assault was of a physical nature (e.g., there was penetration of any kind or a physical injury including bruising, bite marks etc.), then offer the student medical care.
  • Emergent - If injuries are serious and you need immediate medical attention:
    • Call 911 and/or Campus Safety for assistance.
  • Non Urgent - Seek medical attention at the your own discretion. Any concern for health should be addressed as soon as possible. Reasons to get an exam might include testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI), pregnancy testing, or testing for the presence of date rape drug. Gustavus Student Health Service can work with the victim to provide certain services (NOT testing for the presence of a date rape drug). Health Service is available Mon-Fri 8-4:30. Students may also be seen at a medical facility off campus.
  • Evidence Collection - Another reason to seek out medical care is to gather evidence in the event the student might want at some point in the future to press criminal charges. This should be done as soon as possible after an incident. Gustavus Health Service will not conduct any evidence collection. Medical evidence collection should only be done by a specially trained nurse (referred to as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or SANE) for the accuracy and comfort of our students.
    • A medical forensic exam can be performed at Mayo Health System/Mankato and SART staff can accompany the student to such an exam. SANE nurses are available to perform evidence collection on site. Call in advance so they can notify the nurse of your arrival (507) 385-2610. SANE nurses will work with each individual in a sensitive manner and respect the survivor’s decision. Having an evidence collection kit performed DOES NOT MEAN that the student has to press charges. It is important to have a trained SANE nurse do the exam.
    • It is important for the victim to seek medical attention and have an evidence exam done (if desired) as soon as possible to maximize the likelihood that any evidence will not be compromised and that medical treatment is received in a timely manner. Evidence collection should be done within 72 hours after an assault.
    • If you will be going to the hospital for evidence collection, you should:
  • Refrain from using the bathroom, showering, changing their clothes or brushing their teeth to maximize the ability to gather evidence.
  • Bring a change of clothes if possible.
  • If clothes have been changed gather clothes from incident (unwashed) and transport to the hospital in a paper bag.
Step 5: Consider Accessing Campus/Community Services for Support and Assistance
Students have a variety of campus and community options for support and other kinds of assistance. Free/confidential on-campus and off-campus resources for Counseling or support include:
  • Gustavus Counseling Center (507) 933-7027
  • Gustavus Health Service
  • Gustavus Chaplain’s Office
  • Community 24 hour Safeline: (800) 630-1425
Step 6: Consider Reporting the Incident to the Police
The college supports a student’s right to go to police and College staff will assist the student in making contact with the police. The option to report to off campus law enforcement is ALWAYS an option regardless of other actions or investigations taking place. A student may speak with a SART member who can provide support and information regarding contacting off-campus law enforcement.