If you have been raped

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. Go to a safe place. Call someone you trust for emotional support. Contact your nearest rape crisis center for an advocate to answer questions, provide emotional support and accompaniment to the hospital or with law enforcement.

If you have been sexually assaulted recently or some time ago, you may be experiencing a wide range of feelings, from shock, fear, disbelief, recurring memories, outrage, confusion, sadness, despair, and anger. Please do not lose hope. All of your feelings are valid. You did not deserve this and the offender is the only person who should be blamed.

Consider notifying the police of the assault. Please be aware that if you go to the hospital, staff will most likely report the assault to the police. It is up to you, however, to decide if you want to talk to the officer or not.

Do not shower, eat, drink, smoke, comb your hair, urinate, douche, or change clothes before going to the emergency room. Valuable evidence of the assault remains on your body and clothes. However, if you have already done these things, please don’t let this stop you from seeking medical care. If you have changed clothes, place the clothes you were wearing during the assault in a paper bag and take them to the hospital with you.

Seek medical attention. A doctor or nurse can check for injuries that may not be visible. Hospital staff can also treat you for possible Sexually Transmitted Infections and provide Emergency Contraception if you are at risk for becoming pregnant. Hospital staff may also perform a sexual assault forensic exam to collect evidence, if you are in agreement. The victim is not charged for this exam as it is paid for by the State of Arkansas.

If you believe you were given a date rape drug, wait to urinate until you arrive at the hospital. However, if you can’t wait, collect your first urine in a clean container with a lid and take it to the emergency room or police station with you. Also, be sure to tell the emergency room personnel your symptoms and that you believe you were given a date rape drug so they can take the necessary samples.

Remember that you are an important person, deserving of the best treatment possible. Your local rape crisis center can assist you with crisis counseling and provide helpful information.

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