Sexual assault survivor resources
For urgent medical concerns, including your physical well-being after an assault, call 608-265-5600 (option 1).
Forensic medical exams are available at UHS during business hours through DaneMAC for no-cost. Forensic nurses can provide emotional support, physical examination and wellness check, collection of medical forensic evidence, assistance with reporting to police (mandatory reporting for students under 18), assistance with concerns about sexually transmitted infection (STI) and pregnancy, assistance with safety planning, and development of a medical follow-up plan.
During business hours, you can call UHS to talk about all options and/or make an appointment, drop in and request a same-day appointment, or use MyUHS to make an appointment in Primary Care, the Women’s Health Clinic, or the Sexual Health Clinic.
The Rape Crisis Center provides free and confidential services, including a 24-hour hotline at 608-251-7273.
The Unity Point – Meriter Hospital emergency room offers evidence collection (“rape kit”) and medical care (e.g., toxicology screen, STI testing/treatment, emergency contraception, injury treatment) through the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. No appointment needed. You do not need to report to law enforcement to use this service. 608-417-5916
Mental Health Services
For mental health and crisis support following an assault, 24-hour crisis services are available by calling 608-265-5600 (option 9).
Free, confidential victim advocacy and survivor support, including information about your options and emotionally supportive counseling: 608-265-5600 (option 3). Contact UHS Mental Health Services anytime you are experiencing a mental health emergency. You can also drop in or call for an appointment during business hours.
Outside of Madison
Consent is a clear yes, not the absence of a no
Sexual assault is any sexual contact made without consent. Consent must be freely given with overt words or actions that clearly communicate an individual’s desire to engage in sexual activities. Consent is a clear yes, not the absence of a no. Consent cannot legally be obtained if an individual is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs, is unconscious or asleep, or has limited mental capacity. Examples of sexual assault include unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, or penetration of the mouth, vagina, or anus with a finger, penis or object.
Sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator and not the fault of the victim. Whether or not the victim has been drinking is irrelevant. The victim’s previous sexual activities, behaviors, actions and/or dress is irrelevant. No one deserves to be the victim of sexual assault.
If you have been victimized, you are not alone. There are resources available to help you.
What to do after a sexual assault
After a sexual assault, it is important that you know you have choices about how to take care of yourself. There is no one right way to ensure your self-care.
Listed here are several options, offering you suggestions on how to meet your physical safety and emotional needs, how to obtain medical attention, and options for filing a report to trigger an investigation.
Reports can be filed with the law enforcement agency in which the incident occurred or with a campus office designated by UW–Madison for sexual violence/Title IX investigations. These offices are the Office of Compliance/Title IX Coordinator and the Dean of Students Office. If you choose to report, you can bring a victim advocate or support person with you to do so.
For more about the services, both on- and off-campus, available to survivors of sexual assault, see the UHS Resources for Victims of Sexual assault, Dating/Domestic Violence or Stalking webpage. You can get confidential help without reporting.
Remember, there are many paths to healing, and only you know what you need.
Alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual assault
Alcohol is the most common drug used by perpetrators to facilitate sexual assault. Most drugs used to facilitate sexual assault leave the body within 24 to 72 hours, so if you want to get a drug test it is important to do it as soon as possible after the assault has occurred. If you aren’t able to get tested in time, you can still file sexual assault report if you wish.
For drug testing and/or examination after a sexual assault, contact:
UnityPoint Health – Meriter, Forensic Nurse Examiners Program
608-417-5916, 202 S. Park Street, enter the Emergency Department entrance.
Most drugs used to facilitate sexual assault fall into one of the following categories:
- sedatives: make you feel weak or knock you unconscious
- dissociative drugs: make you feel disconnected from or unable to control your body
- hallucinogens: make you hallucinate and disoriented
- drugs that cause amnesia
These drugs take away your control so that the perpetrator is in charge of the situation. In certain doses, any drug can be used in a sexual assault, including alcohol, marijuana, Ecstasy, as well as drugs commonly used to facilitate sexual assault including GHB, Rohypnol, Clonazepam, ketamine, and chloral hydrate.