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What to Do if You Have Experienced Sexual Misconduct

If you have experienced sexual misconduct or think you may have experienced it, help is available. It is not your fault, and there are resources on campus and in the community to provide support and help you heal. You also have options for reporting the incident. You are not alone, and we at Illinois care.

Immediate Medical Concerns

If you are concerned about safety or need medical attention, call 911 or go to a local medical facility:

McKinley Health Center

(217) 333-2700
1109 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana

  • Acute Care Hours:
    8:00 am–5:30 pm, Monday–Friday
    8:00 am–4:30 pm, Saturday
  • Dial-a-Nurse Services:
    available 24 hours/7 days a week

Carle Foundation Hospital

(217) 383-3311
611 W. Park St., Urbana
24 hours/7 days a week

Presence Covenant Medical Center

(217) 337-2131
1400 W. Park St., Urbana
24 hours/7 days a week

You can make a report to the police while at a medical facility as well.

If there are no safety risks or serious injuries, go to a safe place and contact a friend or family member you trust to stay with you.

Common Responses to Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct of any kind can result in a host of reactions—some are immediate, some can be long term. The variety of reactions may depend on the survivor's previous life experience, the kind of force used, the relationship of the offender to the survivor, among other factors. Most survivors experience levels of fear, anger, self-blame, depression, and anxiety that can be exhibited emotionally, physically, and even socially. Difficulty sleeping and concentrating, social withdrawal, nightmares, flashbacks, and emotional numbing are all common reactions to sexual misconduct. These reactions are all normal, and you are not alone in experiencing them.

Steps to Consider

You might want to consider the following options as you decide how to proceed.

Preserving Evidence

It is important to preserve physical evidence of an assault even if you do not yet know whether you want to report the assault or pursue filing a complaint. Evidence is best collected as soon as possible or at least within 96 hours of the incident. Consider waiting to shower or bathe to avoid washing away important physical evidence. You can also preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, and other communications that may be useful to investigators.

Seeking Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

If you go to an emergency department, the trained professionals can collect necessary physical evidence. Even if you do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care professionals can treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases/infections.

Reporting the Sexual Misconduct

Although Illinois strongly encourages all members of the community to immediately report sexual misconduct to law enforcement and to the University, you have a choice whether to make such a report, and you can decline to involve the police. Refer to I Want to Report an Incident for more information.

Seeking Other Assistance and Support

You may want to seek confidential support from the organizations listed in the sidebar. For more information, see I Want to Talk to Someone or Resources for Students.

If you have been accused of sexual misconduct and are unsure what to do or whom to contact, click here.