Student Self-help Library

Information and Support for Survivors of Sexual Assault

IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO:

  • Cathey Soutter, Ph.D., Coordinator of Psychological Services For Women 214-768-4795
  • Counseling and Psychiatric Services 214-768-2277

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED?

GO TO A SAFE PLACE AND TELL SOMEONE...

a trusted friend, an advisor, or for FREE CONFIDENTIAL counseling and/or information about what to do, call 214-768-4795.

REPORT THE ASSAULT...

It's YOUR decision, but reporting a rape to University officials or filing a police report does not initiate criminal charges. Only by signing a criminal complaint do you begin criminal prosecution.

Call 911 to access the police in your area. If calling 911 from a campus phone, you will reach the SMU Police Department. Otherwise, to contact the SMU Police Department, call 214-768-3333 or one of the blue light phones on campus. This is important because you need to:

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION...

as soon as possible. You could be injured, become pregnant or be exposed to STI’s. In addition, a medical exam will preserve important evidence. Please DO NOT bathe or douche until after your medical exam. Presbyterian and Parkland Memorial Hospitals are the only medical facilities that can conduct an exam that can be used as evidence. SMU Police can transport you to Presbyterian Hospital. If you are being transported by the Dallas Police Department, you may want to request to be taken to Presbyterian Hospital. The SMU Health Center offers emergency contraception pills, contraception counseling, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections as well as routine gynecological exams at a reasonable cost. Exams performed at the Health Center cannot be used as evidence.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas recognizes the need to help sexual assault victims right away — and begin the healing process the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. Victims can be seen and treated at any time of the day or night in the emergency department. SANE-certified nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and know that when a sexual assault crisis strikes, it's important for victims to be cared for in a safe, respected and professional manner — all while working to collect valid medical forensic evidence. 

OBTAIN COUNSELING...

You may have a trained counselor from SMU accompany you to the hospital (or meet you there) by calling 214-768-4795 or after 5:00 PM call the emergency number given in the voice mail message or a counselor is available at the hospital, OR after arrival, Presbyterian or Parkland Hospital staff will contact the Dallas County Rape Crisis Center for you if you wish to see a counselor or will contact a counselor from SMU. It is your choice.

Sexual assault can continue to affect you emotionally and physically. You may be experiencing a variety of feelings: shock, denial, fear, numbness, mistrust, powerlessness, and/or self-blame. These feelings may cause you to behave in ways you normally would not. You may be experiencing disturbances in you sleeping patterns, and your eating habits may change. You may find that you do not wish to be alone or that you fear strangers.

Remember that recovery takes time and that counseling can help you deal with these issues and concerns.

WHATEVER YOU DECIDE - ALL COUNSELING IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL