What To Do
If you have been sexually assaulted, you may find the following steps helpful:
- First, remember that what happened to you is not your fault. You did not cause an assault, and you did not deserve it. You have a right to be believed and to receive appropriate medical, emotional, and legal support if you choose such options.
- Story County SART services are available to all survivors of sexual assault ages 13 and older, even if the assault occurred several days, or even years, earlier.
- Get to a safe place.
- Do not change anything at the location where the assault occurred.
- Do not eat, drink, shower, douche, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, or change your clothes. These activities could destroy physical evidence that may be helpful if you later decide to pursue legal action.
- Consider contacting Story County SART or one of its individual agencies. These agencies can provide you with medical attention, emotional support, and law enforcement services and can help you explore your various options.
- Even if you don't want to file a police report, consider receiving medical attention. A SART nurse will provide options to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, and collect valuable evidence that may be useful in the future, even if you are unsure about pursuing legal action now. Physical evidence can only be collected for up to 120 hours after an assault, but a survivor has ten years to decide if she/he wants to ask the Story County Attorney's Office to pursue a criminal case (or ten years after one's 18th birthday if the assault took place prior to the survivor turning 18).
- The medical exam and follow up visits are free in Iowa, even if you do not report the assault to the police.