S.O.S. News

October is Dating/Domestic Violence Awareness Month

We are accepting donations of cell phones to benefit the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and cleaning supplies which Child, Inc. will provide to domestic violence survivors when they leave protective shelters in Delaware. Both of these non-profit agencies actively work to end dating & domestic violence and to assist survivors. Drop off your donations to Student Wellness & Health Promotion, 231 S. College Avenue through October.


Medical Options:

There are a variety of medical concerns you may have:

  • INJURY: Within 72 hours of the sexual assault, you may have a medical need to be seen by a doctor to treat assault-related injuries. If the assault was more physically violent in nature, there may be internal tearing treatable by a doctor.
  • SEXUALLY-TRANSMITTED DISEASES: It is possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease during a sexual assault. It is recommended that you seek examination, testing, and preventative medicine for STDs if you have been assaulted. It is important that you be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, but if you do not get treated immediately, it is still worthwhile to seek treatment. There are nurse practitioners and/or gynecologists who can treat you at the Student Health Service (for U of D students), Planned Parenthood, or ChristianaCare Medical Center.
  • PREGNANCY: Pregnancy is another concern if you are female. You may receive pregnancy testing via any of the health agencies listed above. Christiana Care Medical Center, Planned Parenthood, and UD's Student Health Service -- Women's Health Clinic. You may also wish to obtain emergency contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. EC is available over the counter at local pharmacies, or can be purchased at a lower fee at the Student Health Service's Dispensary. If you use emergency contraceptive, it is most effective if taken within 72 hours after the assault, but it can be used in the first 5 days after unprotected sex or sexual assault. Additional information is available about EC from the Kaiser Foundation's August 2010 Update.
  • EVIDENCE COLLECTION: The ChristianaCare Medical Center has a staff of forensic nurses who can perform an official evidence collection exam (sometimes referred to as a "rape kit") to use in conjunction with legal proceedings against the assailant (see Legal Options). Forensic nurses, formerly known as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (S.A.N.E.), are on staff 24 hours/day and there is a separate examination room from the rest of the ER. If you go to the emergency room, let the triage desk know that you have been assaulted and would like to be seen by the SANE/forensic nurse. This will put you on a faster track to be seen, examined, and released (as is possible based on how busy the ER is that day and how many traumas they must treat.) If you are unsure whether or not you wish to press charges, Christiana ER has the ability to store the evidence collected for up to 14 days to allow victims more time to decide whether or not they want to make a police report and have a criminal investigation conducted. It is critical to collect evidence as soon as possible after the sexual assault. Evidence collection is most successful within the first 24 hours after the assault, and it is recommended that you do not shower prior to examination, as showering will cause evidence to be lost. Within the first 72 is considered the best window of time. The Forensic Nurses encourage victims to be examined even when more time has passed since the assault, as some evidence may still be obtained.
  • TRANSPORTATION: University of Delaware Police, 302-831-2222, will provide transport to the Student Health Service or to the Christiana Hospital for University students, whether the assault happened on campus or in Newark. An unmarked car can be requested for the transport. You do not need to disclose why you need transport (beyond "medical care") to the hospital in order to utilize this service.
  • POLICE REPORTING: The University Police will not file a report if the survivor does not wish to provide information or press legal charges. An alternative they offer is to take a report for informational purposes without pressing charges. This option is helpful if the survivor needs time to decide what she wants to do, yet allow the information to be collected while it is fresh in the victim's mind. In any case, the officer will try to help the survivor get to the resources necessary for medical and emotional assistance. It is a common misperception that University police will press charges against the victim for underage drinking if the victim was intoxicated at the time of the assault. S.O.S. has been assured by University Police that they will not prosecute victims for underage drinking, and are more concerned about addressing the more severe felony crime of sexual assault.
  • TESTING FOR DATE RAPE DRUGS: Christiana Care Medical Center can send samples for testing to see if date rape drugs, such as GHB, Rohypnol, & Ketamine, are present in the victim's body. This option is only available to you in the first hours after an assault because the evidence leaves your system at first urination. If you suspect you have been drugged, you may collect the first urine after waking up in a clean, dry container. You can refrigerate or freeze your sample and bring it to the hospital with you. Urine kept in this way can be tested for Rohypnol days and even weeks after collection. For more information, visit SOS' info about Date Rape Drugs.
  • To reach the SOS Victim Advocate on duty (24 hrs/day) call 302-831-2226. The person who answers will take a first name and phone number and the advocate will call you back within 10 minutes.

    Upcoming Events!

    Sat, January 31st, 10:00am-3:00pm
    Hear Me Roar! Workshop with Guest Speakers: Jennifer Cassetta & Lindsey Smith, authors of Hear Me Roar
    Perkins Student Center
    Shred negativity in your life. Learn how to defend your mind, body and heart. Focus on positive body image, gain self-confidence and empower yourself! Workshop is free and lunch will be provided, but space is limited so you must pre-register at: bit.ly/HearMeRoarsignup Made possible by an Enliven grant from the UD Provost. Sponsored by Housing and Residence Life. See the flyer.