Rape or other sexual assault can occur at any time without regard to age, sex, or mode of dress. There is no absolute protection from sexual assault, but if you are aware, you can reduce the likelihood of being attacked. Be alert! (For example, never leave your beverage unattended at a bar or restaurant.)
If you are assaulted, there are things you can do:
• Try to remain calm.
• Attempt to use actions, gestures, or words, to get the attacker to talk to you.
• Engage in conversation to convince the attacker that you are cooperating may stall for time.
• Notice everything you can about the assailant (age, height, skin, hair, speech, clothes, scars, etc.)
• If you are not in your own room, remember everything you can about the setting.
• Leave your fingerprints everywhere you can.
• Leave a small personal item (button, earring) that can be traced back to you.
• Preserve all physical evidence carefully. Do not bathe, douche, or change clothing.
• Do not touch any object handled by the attacker.
Immediately ask for assistance from Security, a residence hall staffperson, a friend, St. Luke's Rape Crisis Intervention (523-4728), or the NYPD 26th Precinct (678-1311).
The Columbia University Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Program (SVPRP) provides comprehensive and integrated education, support, and advocacy about sexual and relationship violence. SVPRP can be reached at (212) 854-3500 or through their website at www.health.columbia.edu/docs/services/svprp/index.html.
When you report an assault:
• Your identity will be kept confidential.
• JTS will provide transportation for medical assistance.
• It will be your decision whether or not to contact the police.
• You will be accompanied to police or court proceedings at your request.
Reporting an assault to the police:
• A female member of the Sex Crimes Analysis Unit will speak with you.
• It will be your decision whether or not to sign an official complaint.