Remember, that sexual misconduct is not the fault of the survivor. Try to be strong and active in your recovery. You are not alone at Viterbo University and in the La Crosse community, please seek assistance as needed and try to make every effort to advocate for yourself as you move forward in the recovery process
If You Have Experienced a Sexual Assault in the Last 72 Hours
- Re-locate to a safe place as soon as you are able.
- Seek medical attention immediately. You could have an internal injury, a sexually transmitted disease, or become pregnant. A medical exam could also provide important evidence for prosecution. If you go to a hospital for evidence collection and medical attention, law enforcement officers are able to take your statement at the hospital if you chose to file a report with the police. Both Mayo Franciscan Healthcare and Gundersen Health Systems have SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) to provide trauma informed service to survivors.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, wipe, bathe, douche, change clothing, or brush your teeth. Any of these acts may destroy evidence that could prove useful in the event of an investigation.
- Save (do not wash) the underwear and clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault.
- Write down as many of the details from the assault that you can remember. Be sure to include details such as the involvement of drugs and alcohol, location, people involved, and any suspicion that you may have been drugged.
- Consider filing a formal report or complaint with Viterbo University authorities and/or reporting the assault to the La Crosse Police Department.
- Seek advice, support, and counseling from trusted friends, family, and any appropriate Viterbo University staff members or community resources listed above.
If You Have Experienced Sexual Assault
- Being sexually assaulted may be emotionally traumatic and have a major impact on a person's life. Proper support, emotional care, and attention can assist in the healing process and prevent later concerns.
- Those who have been assaulted often feel a combination of disbelief, fear, confusion, anger, numbness, anxiousness, guilt, shame, and embarrassment. It's not uncommon to want to be alone or to withdraw from fiends and family.
- Depression during the first year after an assault is reported by about of the population. It is important to keep scheduled visits with doctors and report any physical, emotional, or sexual problems.
- After an assault, it is frequently hard to sleep, eat, concentrate, in school, or participate in everyday activities. It often seems as if one will never get over the distress of the event. While these effects are perfectly normal, seeking professional support can be very helpful. Talking with a trained professional in assisting sexual assault victims is the best way to ensure long-lasting healing. Working through the hurt sooner rather than later can help reduce side effects.
- Counseling services are free, confidential and available to all enrolled Viterbo University students. The counselor is available in the fall and spring semesters. Counseling Services is located in the Student Development Center, Room 4. The phone number is 608-796-3808.
La Crosse Agencies Offering 24-Hour Hotlines and Services for Sexual Assault Victims
- Mayo Franciscan Healthcare Safe Path Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Services offer free counseling and sexual assault advocacy. 608-791-7804 or 1-800-362-5454 ext. 27804
- Gundersen Health Systems Sexual Assault Services, 608-775-5950 or 1-800-362-9567, ext. 5950. Offers free counseling and advocacy.
- New Horizons Shelter and Women's Center, 608-791-2600 or 1-888-231-0066
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline operated for free, 24 hours each day can also provide you with support and guidance. The number is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)