U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

How to help yourself

  • Believe in yourself: Remember that no matter what the circumstances were, you are not to blame for what happened to you. Give yourself permission to do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
  • Tell someone you trust: Sexual assaults can be terrifying and traumatic and can be an enormous burden to bear alone. Think about whom you might trust to tell that would be supportive.
  • Request a medical examination: Even if you don't think you were physically hurt, you may want to be checked for internal injuries, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases as soon as possible. Also, having a medical exam within 72 hours is best for collecting physical evidence of the sexual assault.
  • Report to the Police: You can contact SAPAC for assistance in reviewing your reporting options.
  • Seek additional supportive counseling: Regardless of whether you get a medical examination or report the assault, you may want help to deal with the impact of the assault.
  • Investigate additional options: Other reporting options exist, including civil proceedings, and/or the Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR), which administers the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Read SAPAC's Options If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted for more detailed information (Requires Adobe Reader)

How to help a friend

  • Be respectful of privacy and assure confidentiality when possible: ask their permission to tell anyone else. If you feel you need to report the incident to police, or authorities, let survivors know you're doing this, and work out a plan to maximize their safety.
  • Be an supporting presence
  • Believe the survivor: Sharing such a emotional experience takes an extreme amount of courage. Even if you are confused, positive support from friends is one of the most important part of recovery for the survivor.
  • Provide information and know the resources: it is perhaps one of the best, easiest tangible things you can do to help out someone that you care about.