Title IX: If You Are Supporting a Friend What to do if you or someone you know is sexually assaulted
Below are some some suggestions for supporting a friend or family member who has experienced sexual misconduct.
Get to a safe place
Your safety is the HIGHEST priority. If you feel unsafe, IMMEDIATELY contact the Point Park Office of Public Safety by dialing 412-392-3960 or text 412-267-7847 OR call the Pittsburgh Police at 911.
Reach out for help
It can be difficult to think clearly if you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual violence and abuse. Sexual violence and abuse can bring up uncomfortable feelings and it may be hard to maintain daily routines and re-connect. Talking with someone can help. You can call PAAR at 1-866-END-RAPE. You should not go through this alone. Use the resources listed below for support and counseling. Friends and family may also offer support and care.
Seek medical attention
Go to a hospital emergency department to check for and treat injuries and to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Ask the hospital staff to call an in-person advocate to help and support you from PAAR at 1-866-END-RAPE.
Have evidence collected
If you choose to report the assault or pursue legal options, physical evidence can be important. Forensic evidence can be collected up to 5 days after the assault. Valuable evidence may remain on your body or clothing. Try not to change your clothes. Try not to bathe, shower, eat, drink, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom before going to the emergency room.
Reporting the assault
Sexual assault is a crime and no matter the details of the incident, it was NOT your fault. **If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the assault you will NOT be charged for using either.
Consider reaching out to Point Park University resources
- Residence Life staff, 1st floor Pioneer Hall, including community facilitators, community mentors, and community advisors can provide resources, explain your options and support you through the healing process.
- Office of Student Affairs and Office of Student Conduct can assist in academic and residential support and supply information about the University's disciplinary process, your rights under Title IX, and legal options.
- Student Counseling Center, 5th floor Lawrence Hall, 412-392-3959 or 24-hour answering service at 800-647-3327
- Student Health Center, 203 Thayer Hall, 412-392-3800
- Lisa Stefanko, Interim Title IX coordinator, 412-392-3980 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach out to off-campus resources
- Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC (Oakland), 300 Halket St., Pittsburgh, 412-641-1000
- UPMC Mercy (Uptown), 1400 Locust St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219, 412-232-8222
- Pittsburgh Action Against Rape 1-866-END-RAPE (363-7273), www.paar.net
Many victims of sexual violence and abuse may struggle with feelings of guilt, shame and sadness. Providing comfort and support to victims can often mean just listening without judgment and without asking questions. Knowing what to say can help reassure victims that their feelings and reactions are appropriate and expected.
- "I am so sorry to hear that happened to you."
- "I believe you and want to help."