Any kind of coercive sexual contact, either by a stranger or someone you know, is sexual assault. If you are sexually assaulted, tell someone who can help. Don't try to handle it alone. Please consider the following options and resources.
In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault:
- Contact an RA or hall director for help. They have received training in how to support you.
- Contact the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center (DSARC) 24-hour crisis line at 382-2989 or 1-800-383-2988. A trained sexual assault advocate is available to talk with you by phone or meet with you. The advocate can provide support and information about medical, legal, and counseling resources.
- Secure immediate medical attention at Winneshiek Medical Center Emergency Room, 382-2911, 901 Montgomery St., Decorah.
- Do not remove any clothing, shower, douche, or do anything that might destroy physical evidence of the assault.
- A Luther staff member or DSARC advocate can accompany you to the emergency room.
- Your evaluation and treatment at the hospital can be paid for by the Iowa Sexual Assault Examination Payment Program. You do not need to make a report to the police to receive this benefit.
- Emergency contraception is most effective within 72 hours, but can still have some effectiveness up to 5 days.
- Make a prompt report to the Decorah Police Department: 382-3667. A Luther staff member or DSARC advocate can assist you. Making a report does not obligate you to pursue formal charges.
After the immediate crisis:
- Seek support from your RA or hall director.
- Contact DSARC for information and support.
- Pursue medical follow-up at the Luther College Health Service (382-1045; Larsen Hall) or Winneshiek Medical Center ER.
- You may still make a report to the Decorah Police, if you have not already done so.
- Consult with the Student Life Office (387-1020; Dahl Centennial Union) about the option of filing a formal complaint and pursuing campus judicial action. Ask any questions you have about the process.
- You may request changes in academic or living arrangements to minimize contact with your assailant, if these are reasonably possible. Speak to the Student Life Office.
- Consult the Student Handbook for information on college policies, reporting, resources and support services.
- Consider pastoral support from the Office of College Ministries (382-1040; CFL).
Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline: 1-800-284-7821
The Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline is a resource for anyone who is coping with or concerned about the effects of sexual violence. All services are free of charge, confidential, and are available to women, children, and men.
The 24-hour line is staffed by trained sexual assault advocates and the toll-free number is available to callers throughout the state of Iowa. Advocates can provide a safe space to talk, supportive listening, and information about services across the state for sexual abuse survivors and their significant others.
The Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline can refer callers to their local sexual assault center and is also available to assist callers in accessing other local resources such as domestic violence centers, shelters, law enforcement, hospitals, county attorney offices, or other counseling services.