Sexual misconduct and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of size, gender or strength. If a friend has been assaulted, they may exhibit an array of emotions in a variety of ways from frantic anger to calm sadness. Some cry, some laugh, some yell, some stay silent. Everyone is different and there is no wrong way to feel or react if assaulted. When a sexual assault occurs, here are some things to consider:
IF AN ASSAULT HAS RECENTLY OCCURRED:
1. Safety First: Ensure that the victim feels safe and is in a safe place.
2. Confidential Support: Consider if the victim wishes to speak with a confidential resource for support (see below.)
Confidential Supports on SJU’s Campus Include:
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) – 610-660-1090: Merion Gardens, A504
Emotional support is important following a sexual assault. Psychologists and counselors are available on campus to meet confidentially with students about a wide variety of issues, including sexual assault. Individual and group counseling available at CAPS is free & confidential. In an emergency, students can contact the Office of Public Safety (610-660-1111) to be connected with counseling support after hours.
Student Health Center – 610-660-1175: Sourin Hall, 1st floor
Confidential non-emergency medical attention is available at the Student Health Center. Student Health can offer confidential non-emergency medical follow up, including testing for sexual transmitted infections (STIs.)
Some Confidential Supports in the Community Include:
Victim Services Center (for Montgomery County) – 610-277-5200 (24 hr. Hotline)
Victim Services Center (VSC) is a non-profit located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that provides free and confidential comprehensive support services to crime victims, their families and significant others; prevention education and risk reduction programs; and training to the professionals who work with the victims of these crimes. All services are provided free of charge to those who request assistance.
Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) (for Philadelphia County) 215-985-3333 (24 hr. Hotline)
Women Organized Against Rape is a non-profit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania whose mission is to eliminate all forms of sexual violence through specialized treatment services, comprehensive prevention education programs, and advocacy for the rights of victims of sexual assault. WOAR provides free counseling for women, men and children who have experienced sexual violence.
3. Medical Attention: It is important to receive medical attention as soon as possible following an assault. Treatment for injuries, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV medication are all options, in addition to a forensic exam. For more information click here.
4. Reporting Assault: Consider if the victim wishes to report the assault to SJU’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Mary-Elaine Perry (titleIX@sju.edu), police (911), to SJU Public Safety (610-660-1111) or to any Responsible Employee on campus.
WHEN THERE HAS BEEN A PAST EXPERIENCE OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT:
Sexual misconduct is a traumatic experience under any circumstance. Even if an assault has occurred in the past, a person may continue to be affected for some time. A survivor of a past incident of sexual misconduct still has many options for reporting the incident and receiving support. The confidential supports on campus and in the community are available to all survivors, no matter when the assault may have taken place.
Furthermore, students are encouraged to report all instances of sexual misconduct to SJU’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Mary-Elaine Perry (titleIX@sju.edu,) Police (911) to SJU Public Safety (610-660-1111) or to any Responsible Employee on campus.