Students who have been sexually assaulted should make sure they are safe from further harm. They should call someone they trust, such as a friend. In addition, there are many places on campus to seek support and assistance. The Counseling and Testing Center, Student Victim Assistance and the Student Health Clinic provide confidential services to students who have experienced a sexual assault. Students who have concerns about their immediate safety can contact the Georgia State University Police Department (404-413-3333) on campus and local police (911) off campus. The National Sexual Assault Hotline provides crisis line support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can contact them toll free at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) to be connected to community resources.
Obtain a Forensic Medical Examination
Within 72 hours of the assault, survivors have the option of obtaining a forensic medical examination. A forensic medical exam is a collection of evidence performed by a specially trained medical professional in a hospital or other medical facility. Depending on the nature of the assault, the examination may include any or all of the following: pelvic exam, collection of hair samples, photographing visible injuries, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception if needed. Survivors are not required to file a report with law enforcement to have this exam performed. However, if a report is filed, the evidence collected may be utilized in the prosecution of the case. There is no cost to the survivor to have this examination performed.
If possible before their forensic exam, students should not bathe, douche, urinate, smoke, eat, drink or brush their teeth. Students who have already changed clothes should place them in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence). Students who have not changed should keep the original clothes on and bring an extra set to wear home from the hospital. The police may need to keep the clothes for evidence.
It is important to receive treatment at a facility where the staff is specially trained to provide care for sexual assault survivors and to use the correct methods for evidence collection. The hospital closest to Georgia State University that has sexual assault nurse examiners is Grady Memorial Hospital. For rape crisis centers throughout Georgia, refer to the list provided by the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault. For questions before or after medical treatment, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).
Seek Medical Attention
Even if a forensic medical exam is not performed, medical attention is vital, since survivors may have injuries of which they are unaware. Medical professionals can test them for sexually transmitted infections and provide emergency contraception if desired. Students can seek these services at some rape crisis centers or a hospital emergency room. The closest hospital to the Georgia State University campus is Grady Memorial Hospital . For rape crisis centers throughout Georgia, refer to the list provided by the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault. Students who need assistance locating medical assistance near them may contact Student Victim Assistance for more information.
Students do not need to formally report the incident to seek medical attention or support services from the university. Contact Student Victim Assistance for more information about resources on and off campus.