Ensure Your Safety
If there is an imminent risk of harm to yourself or others, call 9-1-1.
- Get to a safe place where you will not be in danger.
- Although it is your choice, as an adult, to contact law enforcement, we encourage you to do so.
- Lifewire offers helpful information reporting an incident to the police.
- Contact a sexual assault advocate. Sexual Assault Resource Center of Pierce County is available at 1-800-756-7273 24-hours. Advocates can assist with a number of services, including protection orders, safety plans, counseling, filing reports with law enforcement and legal advocacy.
Seek Medical Attention
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a Registered Nurse who has received specialized training to provide comprehensive care as well as to conduct a forensic exam for patients who are victims of sexual assault or abuse. A forensic medical exam serves a number of purposes, some of which include documentation of findings and injuries as well as testing and treating for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy. If you are an adult, a hospital exam will not automatically trigger a police report. Adults have 72 hours after an assault to get an exam without reporting it to the police. Many medical centers also offer sliding fee scales, charity care and can assist with applying for Crime Victim’s Compensation.
SANE programs in Pierce County include:
- MultiCare Facilities: Tacoma General Hospital, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital
- Providence Health: Providence St Peter Hospital
If you choose to get a forensic exam, in order to preserve evidence, it is best not to change clothes, bathe, shower or douche before going to the hospital. If you have changed your wardrobe, be sure to bring your soiled clothes with you as this can serve as forensic evidence of an assault. More information can be found on our Forensics, Rape Kits, Medical Information page.
There are a number of ways in which we can provide support for those who are impacted by sexual assault. Filing a report on campus will initiate support services, but if you have questions or doubts about your readiness to make an official report and want to maintain confidentiality, contact The Counseling Center for an appointment.