Getting Help

Union's Sexual Assault Support Number: (518) 388-6600

What Should I Do If I Have Been Assaulted?

If you have been sexually assaulted, or think you have been sexually assaulted, the first thing you may want to do is to call (518) 388-6600, Union's Sexual Assault Support Number. The staff there have been specially trained to provide compassionate, confidential support for victims of sexual assault. They will support you and can provide information on your options. They are not required to take down your name or to report the incident to the administration. If you choose to report an assault, please know that we will not tolerate any form of retaliation or harassment of you by the person, or friends of the person, who assaulted you.

What to Do Immediately

It is important to do the following if you have not done so already:

  • Call Union's Sexual Assault Support Number for support: (518) 388-6600
  • Preserve Evidence: Do not brush your teeth, eat, shower and/or smoke. If you do change, be sure to place clothes in a paper bag.
  • Write down any details of the attack. 
  • If you choose, go to the hospital and get a rape kit done to collect any evidence. Your advocate can accompany you for support.
  • If you think you have been drugged, tell someone so you can give a urine sample.

Medical Support

Even if you do not want to press charges, you are encouraged to seek medical attention. You may have been exposed to sexually transmitted infections, may have suffered internal injuries, or may be at risk of pregnancy.

Ellis Hospital, McClellan campus (600 McClellan Street Schenectady, NY 12304), offers the services of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, sometimes known as a SANE Nurse. This specially trained SANE Nurse has particular expertise in these matters. If you want more information on the process, call the Safe Space beeper to speak with a trained member of Safe Space (518) 349-6669. You are encouraged to seek the services of this specially trained Nurse.

You may wish to consider emergency contraception, sometimes known as "Plan B" which Ellis Hospital can provide up to 72 hours after the incident.

Ellis Hospital (1101 Nott Street, Schenectady, NY 12308) also provides emergency services and can provide emergency contraception, but they do not have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner on duty.

Confidentiality

Union understands that a student who has been the victim of sexual misconduct may wish to talk about the incident with the assurance that the discussion will be confidential. There are several support resources that students may utilize on a confidential basis. These include Counseling Services, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and Health Services. Students are encouraged to consult these sources for confidential emotional support. Because these services are confidential, a discussion with any of these sources does not result in a complaint being filed with the College or result in action being taken by the College to respond to the incident.

A student who wants emotional support only should contact the confidential counseling resources listed above. A student wishing to have an incident investigated or adjudicated must make a complaint in accordance with the procedures described above. The College endeavors to respect and follow the wishes of an individual who brings forward a sexual misconduct concern. However, students should understand that Union may have ethical and legal obligations to investigate, attempt to resolve or adjudicate incidents of sexual misconduct that come to its attention. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, it may not be possible for a conversation with Campus Safety personnel or other administrators to be kept in confidence always or, said another way, for these individuals simply to listen without taking action.

Anonymous Reporting to Campus Safety

Campus Safety will accept anonymous reports of sexual assault; they have a form you can fill out to submit a report and have a procedure for reporting incidents directly to them.  Anonymous reporting can help us be more accurate in our own reporting of incidents, and can help us identify problems, but we will not be able to investigate the assault or to sanction the person who did the assault.