What To Do If You Experience a Sexual Assault

Anyone who experiences a sexual assault or other sexual misconduct is strongly encouraged to seek immediate assistance.

  1. Seek safety and obtain support—Remove yourself from the area if you feel you are in danger. Call a friend, advocate or family member to help you.
  2. Seek medical attention within 24-48 hours of the assault. It is important during this time that you do not change clothes or shower. If you do change clothes or shower, please still consider seeking medical attention and take the clothes with you in a paper bag (do not use a plastic bag as evidence may deteriorate).
  3. Report the sexual assault. It is always up to the victim/survivor when to report and to whom. For information on how to report confidentially, to a responsible employee (faculty, staff or student leaders/employees—such as RAs or TAs) or to a Title IX Response member please visit the How to Report page.

Why Should I Go to the Hospital?

Those who experience sexual assault (particularly non-consensual oral copulation, vaginal, or anal penetration) are urged to seek medical treatment as soon as possible by going to the nearest hospital emergency room, specialized sexual assault treatment and trauma center, or private physician. During this visit, injuries, STI testing, issuance of providing birth control and/or Plan B can be administered.

Transportation can be arranged by Campus Safety, the Dean of Student Affairs, Student Advocate or the Director of Student Health Services. The emergency room nearest the CalArts campus is located at:

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital
23845 McBean Pkwy.
Valencia, CA 91355
661.253.8000

Harmed persons who promptly seek medical attention benefit from being examined for physical injury, receiving preventative treatment for sexually transmitted infections, a toxicology examination for date rape drugs, and emergency contraception, as appropriate. In addition, prompt reporting allows for the preservation of evidence, which will only be used if the person who experiences sexual misconduct decides, either immediately or later, to press criminal charges or to file a civil lawsuit.

To preserve evidence, those who experience sexual violence should not bathe, douche, smoke, brush their teeth or change clothes (a change of clothes should be brought along).

If clothes have been changed, the original clothes should be put in a paper bag (plastic bags damage evidence) and brought to the hospital. Do not disturb the scene of the assault. If it is not possible to leave the scene undisturbed, evidence (e.g., bedding, towels, loose fabrics, prophylactics, and clothing) should be placed in separate paper bags to be preserved.

Time is a critical factor in collecting and preserving evidence. The physical evidence of an assault is most effectively collected within the first 24-48 hours of the assault, but some evidence may be collected for up to 72-96 hours.

Hospitals and health practitioners that treat any physical injury sustained during a sexual assault are required to report it to law enforcement agencies. The harmed person(s) may choose whether or not to speak to police at the hospital. Also, it is important to understand that one who experiences sexual assault or other forms of sexual misconduct does not need to make an immediate decision to press criminal charges—that decision can be made at a later time.