Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse
Washington University in St. Louis is dedicated to creating a respectful learning community, free from any form of sexual assault or harassment.
Unfortunately, sexual assault is a reality on any college campus. It affects all members of the university community. We must be responsible for one another and ready to offer our best support and information when circumstances demand it.
This information is intended to assist both survivors of sexual assault and those who support them. Resources for sexual assault prevention and survivor support are available to all members of the university community.
Washington University Police Sexual Assault Response Commitment
Sexual assault, including acquaintance rape, is a very serious concern of WUPD. We have trained and specialized female and male officers to assist you. If you feel you are a victim of a sexual assault on campus, WUPD will guarantee the following:
- We will meet with you privately, at a time and place of your choice, to take your report.
- If you would feel more comfortable talking with a friend or advocate of your choice present, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
- We will not notify your parents without your consent.
- We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism.
- Our officers will not prejudge you, and you will not be blamed for what has occurred.
- We will assist you in arranging for any necessary hospital treatment or other medical needs. We will also assist in locating emergency housing if needed.
- We will fully investigate your case and will help you to achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept up to date on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
- We will help you to contact counseling and other available resources privately.
- We will continue to be available to answer your questions, to explain your options, to explain your rights, to explain the system and process involved (prosecutor, courts, etc.), and to be a listening ear if you wish.
- We will consider your case seriously regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, or the gender or status of the suspect.
What to Do
These are important steps you should follow as closely as possible after a rape or sexual assault. Leave the scene as it is, get to a safe place immediately and contact a friend who can support you through the following steps:
- Get medical attention right away.* Even if you do not want to report the event to the police, you may have injuries, sexually transmitted diseases or a pregnancy that requires medical care.
- Bring a change of clothes to the hospital because those worn during the sexual assault may be collected as evidence.
- Do not eat, drink, shower, wash your hands, comb your hair, brush your teeth or change your clothes. Such activities destroy physical evidence that could be useful in possible prosecution of the alleged perpetrator.
- Consider contacting the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART is a community response program run by the YWCA Regional Sexual Assault Center. Local hospitals will contact SART or you can contact them directly at 314-531-RAPE. You may also consider contacting Kim Webb, Director, Office of Sexual Assault and Community Health Services at 314-935-8761 or through WUPD at 314-935-5555 or SARAH 314-935-8080 after hours.
- Consider contacting the Washington University Police Department at (314) 935-5555 or the police in the area in which the assault took place. If you wish, the police may meet you at the hospital.
- When you find a quiet moment, record everything that you can remember. This may help you through your own healing process, as well as with any legal action you may decide to take.
*The importance of seeking medical attention cannot be overstated. You have the ability to regain a greater sense of safety, control and empowerment by seeking immediate medical attention. Student Health Services offers compassionate care, appropriate exams, comprehensive STI screening, preventative medications, including emergency contraceptives, and ongoing medical and mental health care. Comprehensive medical care — including a forensic exam— is available at hospital emergency rooms. This does not require the student to report the case to law enforcement unless they choose to.
Find more detailed and additional information about sexual violence from Student Health Services.