Reporting sexual assault
I've been assaulted. What do I do?
Deciding whether or not to report an incident can be a stressful
and confusing choice. Read the information below to understand your options and
how the process works.
Methods of reporting
There are three different types of reports you can file if you
are a victim of sexual assault.Read more
In an anonymous report, no names are used and all effort is made to maintain the victim's anonymity. No information is included that might identify the victim; a victim can choose how much information is shared.
An anonymous report can be made to a resident hall assistant or director, Campus Health Services professional, or through the Office of Student Life. An anonymous report can also be submitted online through the Northern Arizona University Police Department. Based on the report, the police will determine if the university community is in danger. If the community is in danger, the police would notify the university’s Incident Management Team with the information. Otherwise, the anonymous report is used to track possible patterns or areas that could put other students and faculty in danger.
If a victim talks to a counselor at Counseling Services, the information given will remain confidential and the counseling relationship provides a safe space for the victim to talk about the assault and how it has affected their life. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality. If the victim is under the age of 18 and the perpetrator is over 18, the counselor is mandated to report a sexual assault. If the victim is seen as a potential harm to themselves or another person, the counselor must also break confidentiality. These factors are considered on a case-by-case basis.
A student victim may choose to report a sexual assault through the Office of Student Life under the Student Code of Conduct.
Criminal incident reports
A victim can choose to report as much or as little information as they wish when they file an incident report, and decide how involved they wish to be in prosecution. They can file a report through the:
The police department will send a reporting officer to the victim's location and ensure that they are in a safe place before asking for basic information about the incident. The reporting officer will then have dispatch contact a victim/witness advocate and the victim will be escorted to the NACASA facility. The advocate will provide support to the victim throughout the process. A victim may wish to bring a friend along for additional support.
The victim will meet with an advocate to discuss their options and what to expect. The advocate does not take a detailed account of what happened.
A forensic exam is voluntary and can take up to six hours. A Sexual Assault Nurse Adviser (SANE) will ask questions about the incident and conduct a head-to-toe exam and detailed genital exam. The victim can stop the exam at any time. An exam can be done up to five days after an incident.
The SANE nurse will check the body for bruises, touch the body to check for sensitive areas, comb pubic hair, and examine the area of penetration. Photos may be taken.
The SANE nurse will offer the patient a urine pregnancy test, morning after pill, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) preventative medication. The victim will be referred to receive full STI testing.
The victim will be given a change of clothes and taken to the "soft room" at NACASA, where they can speak to a detective who will then take a detailed account of the incident.
The advocate will ensure that the victim has a safe place to go and will follow-up and continue supporting the client throughout the investigative process.
If victim chooses to report a sexual assault, they may do it in
a variety of ways.Read more
It is important that the victim write down the details about the
assault and the perpetrator. If the victim suspects they were drugged, they
should ask that a urine sample be collected. The sample can be analyzed by a
forensic lab to determine if drugging did occur.
To preserve evidence, the victim is advised to avoid the
following until after the medical exam:
- brushing teeth
- changing clothes
- washing hands
- using the bathroom
Important phone numbers
Northern Arizona University Police Department: 928-523-3611
Flagstaff Police Department: 928-774-1414
Victim/Witness Services: 928-779-6163 (after business hours,
contact the police)
Campus Health Services: 928-523-2131
Student Life: 928-523-5181
Office of Affirmative Action: 928-523-3312
Office of Residential Life: 928-523-5840
Your safety is the number one
priority. If you are a victim of sexual assault, follow these steps:
- Find a safe environment — anywhere away from the
perpetrator. If you are at immediate risk, contact the police. You can
give the police as much or as little information as you wish, or request
that they contact a victim/witness advocate, who will help you understand
the process and provide support. Call the Northern Arizona University
Police Department at 928-523-3611 or the Flagstaff Police Department at
- If there is serious physical injury, go immediately to
a hospital emergency room to be examined.
- If the victim reports the sexual assault to Flagstaff Medical Center, the nurses and doctors there are required to
notify police and make an incident report, but the victim is not required
to talk with the police unless they choose to. The victim will be treated
for injuries and taken to Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault if
they wish to proceed with the report and there is no medical reason for
them to remain at the hospital.
- If there is no serious physical injury, go to a medical
center as soon as possible to be examined for sexually transmitted
infections or pregnancy. Campus Health Services is available for all university students.
- Know that what happened was not your fault and that you
should do what is best for you. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for
- Call Victim/Witness Services at 928-779-6163 if you
would like advice and support and to clarify your options.
- Recognize that healing takes time. Give yourself the
time you need. If you would like to seek assistance through counseling,
contact Counseling Services.