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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Help for Survivors

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Maintain evidence

Try to remember and write down as many facts about the attacker as you can. Do not wash, douche, brush your teeth, or change your clothing before the medical examination. Physical evidence should be collected within 48 hours after the assault. Without this evidence, it is more difficult to press charges. If you want the police to conduct an investigation, they will tape a formal interview, contact witnesses, and process evidence for the prosecution. You have the right to an advocate with you during every step of the process.

Contact someone you trust

It is important to find a supportive person and environment as soon as possible. Remember that nobody asks or deserves to be raped. You are not to blame: only the assailant is responsible for the assault.

CADA provides a 24-hour crisis line at 800-477-0466. If you call this number, you will reach an advocate who will support you, explain your options, and accompany you to access services such as police and medical care. You may also call MSU Security (507-389-2111) or Mankato Public Safety (911). You have a right to an advocate during every step of reporting, examination, and judicial procedures.

Take care of yourself

Seek medical help if appropriate. Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Mankato offers emergency treatment for sexual assault survivors. Emergency room treatement for sexual assault is confidential and paid for by the county.

You can also discuss what happened to you with the Violence Awareness and Response Coordinator, MSU Counseling Center, or any of the community resources.

Deciding to Report                                         

Reporting is your choice.  Community agencies have reported that local law enforcement officers are supportive and sensitive to survivors. They take great measures to protect the survivor, including protecting her or his identity from the media.

The survivor can report an incident (personally or through a third-party report) even without choosing to pursue charges or have a police investigation. Within the criminal justice system, there are two legal avenues to pursue: criminal and civil. Reporting and cooperating with law enforcement makes you eligible for financial assistance through the Crime Victim's Reparation fund. If you fear retaliation, you can reduce the risk by filing a Harassment Restraining Order or Order for Protection.

A survivor acan also file a grievance or complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX. An accused student may face disciplinary sanctions that can include permanent expulsion depending on the outcome of the University investigation. Read more about the Sexual Violence Policy and Procedure by clicking here.

If you participate in the reporting, investigating, and prosecution processes, you have legal rights. You have the right to be notified of your rights, which include information on court procedures, the right to participate in prosecution, the right to protection from harm, and the right to apply for financial assistance. Legal help is available to MSU students from the Student Attorney.

For some, reporting returns a feeling of personal power. You may be able to provide information that will lead to an arrest and conviction. Reporting can also prevent others from being sexually assaulted. Assailants should be held accountable and you should feel safe.