Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Reed

Health Care Information for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Survivors of sexual assault have the right, and are strongly encouraged, to receive medical care. Even if the survivor does not want to report to the police, or if it has been a while since the assault, she or he may still need and benefit from medical attention, since there are potential medical concerns that may result from an assault. Medical concerns include sexually transmitted infection (STI), pregnancy, physical injury, and psychological trauma.

Decisions about whether or not to report the assault to the police DO NOT need to be made prior to receiving medical care.

If a sexual assault survivor is not sure how to proceed or what the next step to take should be, please contact the staff of Reed’s Health & Counseling Center. All conversations with HCC staff are completely confidential and survivors can discuss options to decide what will best meet their needs. Clinicians can be reached after hours and on weekends (during the academic semesters) by contacting community safety and asking to speak to the counselor on call. Students do not need to give their name to connect with a counselor on call.

Full medical care for sexual assault survivors is accessed through hospital emergency departments (EDs). While the HCC is able to provide an array of medical care and advice, some care for sexual assault survivors can only be provided at a hospital ED.

What the HCC can provide:

  • Treatment of (some) injuries
  • Treatment of sexually transmitted infection/disease (STI/STD)
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Emergency contraception
  • Psychological counseling
  • Referrals and assistance with campus resources
  • Referrals to community resources

What the ED provides:

  • Treatment of injury
  • Treatment of STD
  • Pregnancy test
  • Drug testing for date rape drugs if requested
  • Sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE exam) that can be used as evidence to prosecute if the survivor so desires
  • Specially trained nurses (sexual assault nurse examiners or SANE nurses) to conduct the SAFE exam

What Happens at the ED:

  • The survivor will be treated for injury and STI/D, tested for pregnancy, and referrals for follow-up testing and counseling will be made as needed (the HCC can provide this counseling as well as the community-based resources that may be offered).
  • If the survivor goes to the ED at a hospital able to provide a SAFE exam (OHSU and Legacy are two such hospitals), and if she or he requests SAFE exam, a SANE nurse (sexual assault nurse examiner) will be called to conduct the exam and assist the survivor.
    • The SANE nurse is trained to work with each survivor in a sensitive manner and to respect the victim’s decisions. The nurse assists survivors with issues that include the threat of disease and pregnancy, testing for date-rape drugs, contacting a rape crisis advocate, helping the survivor find a safe place to go, developing a medical follow-up plan, and providing information on crime victim compensation.
  • Survivors who wish to investigate the possibility of drug-induced sexual assault (“date rape drugs”) can be tested for those substances at OHSU.
  • A rape victim advocate (RVA) from Portland Women’s' Crisis Line (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 503/235-5333 or 888/235-5333) can be called by survivor or will be called by hospital staff when the survivor identifies the nature of the assault (i.e., a sexual assault). The RVA will meet survivor at the hospital to provide support.
  • If the survivor informs hospital staff that she or he intends to file a police report, a rape victim advocate from the District Attorney’s office (rather than PWCL) will be called to provide support and help the survivor navigate the system and services as identified above.
  • At the survivor’s request, a SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam) will be conducted. This can be conducted in Oregon up to 84 hours after the event. If there are multiple assailants or if it is a stranger rape, that timeline can be extended. Please note, the HCC is not certified to conduct forensic exams; they must be conducted under strict guidelines and criteria that can be provided at certain EDs.
    • For a SAFE exam, the survivor should go as soon as possible to the ED and, as much as possible, follow these guidelines:
      • Refrain from showering, changing clothes, brushing teeth or gargling before going to the hospital to maximize the ability to gather evidence.
      • Bring a change of clothes to the examination.
      • If clothes have been changed, gather the clothes (unwashed) and transport them to the hospital in a paper bag.
  • This exam will include a pelvic exam with collection of samples from orifices and a skin check with a black light.
  • There is a standard 13-question form that the SANE nurse will use during the exam and collection of evidence. The survivor will not be asked to provide a detailed report of the assault.
  • The attending ED physician will also see and treat the survivor as needed.
  • The forensic evidence will not be processed by the lab unless and until the survivor decides to make a formal police report.
  • Costs: The cost of the ED visit, and the subsequent lab work, is covered by insurance and by crime victim’s funds that the advocate can help the survivor access as needed.

Police Reporting:

  • ED staff will notify the police when an alleged assault patient signs in at triage; however, police do not get involved with “non-reporters” and will not come to the hospital to interview the survivor unless/until the survivor wishes to file a report.
  • The survivor may report the assault to police at any time—including months or years after the assault, but evidence collected at the hospital may not be retained more that 6 months if no police report has been made within that time. The survivor does not have to make a decision about reporting the assault to the police in order for the evidence (forensic exam) to be gathered. If/when the survivor reports to the police, an investigation will be initiated and the forensic exam will be processed.

REED CAMPUS MEDICAL RESOURCES

Heath and Counseling Center (HCC): The HCC is always a resource for students, whether or not they utilize the services of the ED. Reports of sexual assault made to the HCC are confidential. The HCC is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with after-hours crisis services available whenever the HCC is closed. When presenting to or requesting services from the HCC, please make it known that your need is “urgent” and you will be seen as soon as possible.
The HCC can provide the following services:

  • Pregnancy testing, pregnancy counseling, referrals, and emergency contraception
  • Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS
  • Psychological counseling regarding sexual assault
  • Referrals to appropriate community agencies

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

  • Sexual Assault Resource Center (24/7): 24-hour crisis line: 503/640-5311; daytime office (9 a.m.–5 p.m.): 503/626-9100
  • Portland Women’s Crisis Line (24/7): 503/235-5333 or 888/235-5333
  • Multnomah County Mental Health Crisis Line (24/7): 503/988-4888