Being the victim of a sexual offense can be very traumatic and confusing. The following is a list of options one may pursue subsequent to experiencing a sexual assault or other sexual offenses.
- It is important first to get to a safe place. If safety is not jeopardized, point out the perpetrator to other people.
- Call someone you trust for personal support and possible accompaniment to the hospital and/or police station.
- The "Rape Crisis Line" (208) 664-9303 can provide victim advocacy and support.
- NIC can also provide support through Counseling and Health Services (208) 769-5947.
North Idaho College does not offer pastoral counseling services to its students.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have been assaulted or injured in any way.
- Hospital emergency rooms are equipped to treat physical injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy, and to collect evidence.
- Evidence collection will take place only with consent, but it must be gathered within 72 hours of the attack.
- Consider not bathing, changing clothes or douching before going to the emergency room because this will destroy evidence that would be helpful in a future prosecution.
- The hospital will help by informing the police if they were not already contacted.
- Call the local Police Department (911). Reporting a sexual offense does not mean one must prosecute. Reporting alerts the police, increasing the chances of quick apprehension of the perpetrator and preventing other offenses. For cases that will be prosecuted, it is best to:
- Avoid immediately bathing or changing clothes in order to preserve evidence.
- Avoid disturbing the scene of the offense or touching objects that were touched by the perpetrator.
- Try remembering as many details about the perpetrator as possible, such as age, height, weight, hair, eye and skin color as well as clothing, scars and other distinguishing marks like brand of cigarettes, make of car and license plate number and verbal or body language habits.
- Keep a written record of what happened and add details as they are remembered.
Throughout the process, the victim’s wishes will be of paramount importance and will be respected by all concerned.
The victim may contact any of the Coeur d’Alene or NIC offices listed below to learn about options, receive personal support, or request assistance in notifying the proper authorities. NIC contacts may also provide support in pursuing adjustments in class schedules or the campus environment (if desired changes are reasonably available), or for help in coping with the emotional consequences of being a victim.