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Seton Hall University

What to Do if Sexually Assaulted

Immediate Steps


If You Are In Danger, Call 911

Get to a Safe Place and Call for Help

  • Call 911 (South Orange Police Department)
  • Call Public Safety & Security (973-761-9300)
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (973-761-9500)
  • Office of the Dean of Students (973-761-9076)

NOTE: After hours & on weekends—for both the Dean's Office and Counseling—contact Public Safety to be connected to the person on-call.There is someone available 24/7.

Do you Need Medical Attention?

  • Receive help for physical injuries.
  • Screen for STDs/pregnancy.
  • If possible, do not shower or clean up. Do not change clothes. Hospital staff can collect evidence using a rape kit.
  • If you want to file a police report, you can call the police from the emergency room.
  • Contact Essex County Rape Care Center -1-877-733-2273
  • Hospital Referral: Newark Beth Israel (973) 926-7240

Days/Months Following an Assault


Take Care of Yourself Physically

If you have been a victim of physical sexual assault, you should seek medical attention within 72 hours. There are specific examinations given to sexual assault victims in order to collect evidence should you decide to pursue legal action.

Beyond 72 hours, you can go to Health Services on campus, visit a walk-in clinic, or make an appointment with your primary physician. The idea of seeing a doctor might seem unpleasant, but you don't have to go alone. Having a family member or friend with you during the examination can help you feel at ease.

Make sure your doctor understands your situation so he or she is able to care for you accordingly. Before the examination, ask your doctor to explain what he or she is doing so that you know what to expect. You have the right to interrupt or refuse any medical procedure you do not wish to undergo.

Take Care of Yourself Emotionally

Many survivors of sexual violence feel isolated after the incident. In order to reduce those feelings, reach out for support. Consider professional support or counseling. Having someone to talk to about how you are feeling may help you deal with the emotions you are experiencing. A counselor can also help you express your needs to others and learn how to get those needs met. If you are comfortable talking to family or a friend, that's great, otherwise there are resources on and off campus that can also help. Seton Hall offers confidential counseling services on campus to all students. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can be reached at 973.761.9500.

There are also resources available on the internet, as well as in the local area, such as www.RAINN.org, or the Essex County Rape Care Center. The Dean of Students will give you additional information for resources on and off campus.

Consider Your Legal Rights and Know What Services are Available

One of the most important decisions you may struggle with is whether or not to report the crime to the police. Whether or not you decide to press charges, you deserve support and should know about the range of services and options available to you. Seton Hall encourages survivors to pursue complaints.

There are other accommodations that Seton Hall can offer a survivor of sexual violence, such as on-campus housing relocation, issuing a no-contact order between you and the perpetrator, academic accommodations such as a class change, or offer transportation to the hospital if needed.

If you have additional questions regarding your reporting options, or questions about the reporting procedures, please do not hesitate to contact the Dean of Students at 973.761.9076. We are here to support you.

Your Response to Sexual Violence

Every survivor is going to experience trauma of sexual violence differently. Your response to an assault may cover a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, even some that may not result directly from the attack. Learning to recognize these responses will help you regain control of them.

Some of these symptoms may come immediately after the incident, while others might come later in life, or perhaps you won't experience any of them.

Possible Physical Responses and Symptoms

Muscle tension Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
Pain Shortness of Breath
Flashbacks Sexual dysfunction
Injury Nightmares
Gynecological issues Involuntary shaking
Fatigue  

Possible Emotional Responses and Symptoms

Feeling dirty Suicidal thoughts
Anxiety Denial
Shock/Numbness Preoccupation with safety
Embarassment Guilt or self-blame
Feeling of loss of self control over one's life Apprehension
Relief Indecision
Fear Grief
Depression Feeling stuck
Trust issues Crying or inability to cry
Anger Withdrawing socially
Irritability  

Tips for Coping

These are some ideas that may help you cope with the trauma:

  • Find someone to talk with about how you feel and what you are going through.
  • Allow yourself to feel pain. It will not last forever.
  • Spend time with others, but make time to spend time alone.
  • Take care of your mind and body. Rest, sleep, and eat regular, healthy meals.
  • Re-establish a normal routine as soon as possible, but don't over-do.
  • Make daily decisions, which will help to bring back a feeling of control over your life. 
  • Exercise, though not excessively and alternate with periods of relaxation. 
  • Undertake daily tasks with care. Accidents are more likely to happen after severe stress.

Survivor's Measure of Growth*

Use the checklist below to measure your recovery and to help you develop your own list of goals.

  • I acknowledge that something terrible happened to me.
  • I am beginning to deal with my feelings about the assault. 
  • I am angry about what was done to me but recognize that my anger is not a constant part of my feelings. It intrudes into other parts of my life in a negative way. 
  • I can talk about the assault experience with a counselor or a therapist. 
  • I am beginning to understand my feelings about the assault. 
  • I can give responsibility for the assault to the person who attacked me. The responsibility is not mine to accept. 
  • I could not have prevented the assault, and I recognize that I did the best I could to get through it. 
  • I am developing a sense of my own self-value and am increasing my self-esteem. 
  • I am comfortable with choices I make for myself. 
  • I am developing a sense of being at ease with the subject of my assault.
  • I recognize that I have a choice about whether or not to forgive my assailant(s). 
  • I recognize that I have begun to get back control in my life, that the assailant does not have power over me. 
  • I recognize that I have the right to regain control.

*From the New York City Task Force Against Sexual Assault

Reporting Options

Office of the Dean of Students
(973) 761-9076

  • Karen Van Norman
    Associate Vice President for Student Services
    Deputy Title IX Coordinator
    Email: karen.vannorman@shu.edu
     
  • Winston Roberts
    Assistant Dean of Students
    Email: winston.roberts@shu.edu
    • Aids in connection to medical assistance and counseling service, on or off-campus.
    • Provides information about and access to interim accommodations.
    • Provides information about pursuing a complaint through the campus student conduct process.
    • Provides information about pursuing a criminal complaint.

Title IX Coordinator

Public Safety & Security
(973)761-9300

  • Available to respond immediately to Seton Hall University survivors and provide connection to medical assistance
  • Connection to SOPD to initiate a criminal complaint
  • Connection to Office of the Dean of Students for on campus report

Essex County Rape Care Center
1-877-733-2273

Confidential Reporting Options

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