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Sexual Assault: Get Help and Reduce Risk

Get Help For Sexual Assault

Take steps right away if you've been sexually assaulted:

  • Get away from the attacker and to a safe place as fast as you can. Then call public safety 313-993-1234 or 911.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust. You also can call the Detroit Mercy Personal Counseling department to talk with a counselor. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Feelings of shame, guilt, fear and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.
  • Counseling is available at Detroit Mercy Personal Counseling Department at 313-993-1459
  • Do not wash, comb or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes if possible, so the hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
  • Go to a local hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. The doctor/nurse will collect evidence using a rape kit for fibers, hairs, saliva, semen or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
  • You or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room to file a report.

You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault, and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed.

If you're a victim of violence at the hands of someone you know or love or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone. Get immediate help and support.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-799-SAFE (7233), 800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish speakers are available. When you call, you will first hear a recording and may have to hold. Hotline staff offer crisis intervention and referrals. If requested, they connect women to shelters and can send out written information. For more information, see the NDVH website.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-656-4673. When you call, you will hear a menu and can choose #1 to talk to a counselor. You will then be connected to a counselor in your area who can help you. For more information, see the National Sexual Assault Hotline website.

Reducing the Risk

As members of the Detroit Mercy community, we all have a role to play in helping to shift social norms and reduce violence. We can all make a choice to intervene when we see a potentially harmful situation or speak up when we hear remarks that reinforce gender stereotypes, rape culture or are potentially harmful.

What is Bystander Intervention?

Bystander Intervention involves developing the awareness, skills and courage needed to intervene in a situation when another individual needs help. Bystander intervention allows individuals to send powerful messages about what is acceptable and expected behavior in our community.

5- step decision making model:

  1. Notice the event
  2. Interpret the event as a problem
  3. Take personal responsibility to intervene
  4. Decide how you are going to intervene
  5. Intervene

The three “D’s” of Bystander Intervention:

Direct — Directly intervening, in the moment, to prevent a problem situation from happening.

Delegate — Seeking help from another individual, often someone who is authorized to represent others, such as a police officer or campus official.

Distract — Interrupting the situation without directly confronting the offender.

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