A. Get to a Safe Place Quickly
If the perpetrator is still in the area, or his or her presence on campus is threatening, call the Hendrix Public Safety Department (501-450-7711) or use a blue light emergency phone. Off campus, call the Conway Police Department (911).
B. Contact Someon to Help
Contacting a supportive friend or family member can be helpful when recovering from a sexual assault. Students who have been assaulted may also want to contact any of the following based on comfort level or personal circumstances. For example, it may be imperative to involve Hendrix Public Safety or Conway PD from the outset OR a student may wish to visit with a counselor. In any case, most of the contacts listed below will likely ask if the student would like staff to notify any of the others to best help the student. There is not a clear best place to start in all cases.
- 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline (1-866-358-2265)
- Resident Assistant
- Counseling Services (450-1448)*
- Health Services (450-1448)
- Residential Life Office professional staff (450-1416)
- Chaplain’s Office (501-450-1263)*
- Dean of Students Office (450-1222)
- Hendrix Public Safety Department (450-7711)
- Conway Police Department (911)
*You may report a sexual assault to a counselor, chaplain, or assistant chaplain and maintain anonymity. Other professional staff are required to provide information regarding sexual assaults to Associate Dean of Students Kesha Baoua, but that information is held confidential. No conduct action is taken unless the complainant chooses to pursue conduct charges.
C. Preserve Physical Evidence
Because evidence of the assault and the perpetrator’s identity (hair, seminal fluids, bits of skin, etc.) may be left on the victim’s body, it is important not to bathe, shower, douche, or even use the toilet if avoidable. If the victim was assaulted orally, drinking prior to an exam should be avoided. Victims should not straighten up the scene of the incident and should take a change of clothes to the hospital. If the victim must change clothes, put the items that were worn at the time of the attack in a paper bag (not plastic) to the hospital. The use of a plastic bag can destroy evidence. Having physical evidence collected can strengthen a case if the victim pursues legal action.
D. Seek Timely Medical Attention
Victims are encouraged to go for a sexual assault exam as soon as possible because injuries should be treated promptly and evidence deteriorates quickly. If you go to the Emergency Room, the hospital staff will more than likely contact the local law enforcement agency. That agency will respond to the ER to make contact with you. This does not mean that you are required to file a police report or file charges. However, if you do file a police report within 48 hours, the hospital should not charge you for the rape exam/kit and the report is necessary should you decide to file charges or make a claim for compensation through the Arkansas Crime Victim Reparations Program.
- The hospital staff will check for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and pregnancy, physical injuries and the collection of evidence.
- Request the doctor give you a blood and urine test if you suspect the use of a date rape drug (this test is not routinely done). For some drugs such as GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) – sometimes called “ Liquid Ecstasy” there is a small window of time 4-12 hours that it may show on a drug screen (this is why it is important to go to the Emergency Room as soon as possible).
- When drugged, you may feel drunk or impaired very quickly maybe even after one drink or even one sip. You may feel drowsy, dizzy, nauseated, uncoordinated, and have loss of memory. GHB is often colorless tasteless if added to your drink. Again, if you suspect being drugged remember to request the hospital staff to test for that specific drug.
- If you are not sure you want to press charges it is important to take the above steps so that legal action can be taken if you change your mind at a later date.
If the assault occurred weeks or months before, medical attention is still important. Hendrix Health Services can provide referrals for physical exams, pregnancy tests, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.
E. Ask Questions
Victims have the right to ask questions throughout the process and decide what is best for them. Victims are encouraged to use both on- and off-campus resources to help understand available options.
Sexual Assault Victim Support Services
Students who are victims of offenses are encouraged to seek support through on-campus and off-campus services. Students may contact the campus Counseling Center on-campus at 501-450-1448 to schedule an appointment with a campus counselor. There is no charge for this service. Students may also choose to contact support agencies off campus which include the following:
Rape Crisis Hotline 501-801-2700 or 877-432-5368
Conway Women’s Shelter Crisis Hotline 866-358-2265
Hope Reinn National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-4673