FAQs: What To Do If It Happens To You

I was recently raped. What do I do?

  • First, get to a safe place. Call the police, a friend or family member, or the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault Crisis Line at (520) 327-7273. You may find it helpful to have an advocate nearby to support you through the process of dealing with the sexual assault.
  • If at all possible, do not change your clothes, shower, bathe or wash.
  • For immediate medical care, if possible, go to Tucson Medical Center (TMC) at 5301 E Grant Rd. If you have serious or life threatening injuries, go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 911.
  • You have the right to have an advocate present with you at the hospital. The hospital should contact SACASA to have an advocate meet you at the hospital. If an advocate is not called, you can request the hospital staff to contact SACASA to dispatch a Sexual Assault Response Services (SARS) advocate.
  • The hospital will contact law enforcement, but you are not required to talk to an officer or deputy if you do not wish to speak with law enforcement.

I feel I may have been drugged (including alcohol) and sexually assaulted. What do I do?

  • If you have experienced a loss of consciousness, a loss of time or are concerned that something happened to you without your consent, you are encouraged to act as soon as possible if you have a desire to receive medical care.
  • The types of drugs used are metabolized quickly and may not be detected after a few hours of delay.
  • These drugs have a sedative and hypnotic effect on unsuspecting victims and are used to facilitate numerous crimes, including rape.
  • These drugs make it difficult, if not impossible, to resist an assault or have memory of the incident.
  • Not only are survivors uninhibited and likely to engage in behavior quite uncommon, but may not even remember such conduct or behavior.
  • Urine, not blood, is the most important sample in most cases and timing is of the essence. The best sample of urine is from the first void after waking. It is important to know that most hospital labs aren’t able to detect the presence of these drugs during a standard urine analysis.

Do I need medical care?

Medical care is strongly recommended immediately after a sexual assault and in the following months. It is important for you to know what you can do to reduce your risk of infections and other health concerns, as well as other options available.

What can I expect if I go to the hospital?

If you decide to go to an Emergency Department, it may be difficult explaining your medical needs to the person checking you in. SACASA can send an advocate to be with you at the hospital. The advocate can provide emotional support, crisis intervention, information, referrals, and help you understand your rights and options.

Emergency departments are often busy. It may be some time before you are treated. The hospital should provide a quiet area for you to wait. You may want to notify a friend or relative for support. If you plan on reporting the assault to law enforcement, you may want to ask a friend or family member to bring you a full change of clothes. (Law enforcement may want to take the clothes you are wearing to be examined for forensic samples.)

You Will Be Asked These Questions:

  • Why are you here?
  • Where and when did the assault happen?
  • What is your name, address, age?

If you would like an advocate present, ask the hospital to call the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. Or call our crisis line at (520) 327-7273 or (800) 400-1001.