As a victim of sexual or relationship violence, it can be hard to know what to do following the experience. Below is a list of options to consider but it is important that you choose what feels most comfortable to you. The most important first step is to recognize that the behavior is not your fault.
It is not unusual for a victim to want to pretend the experience did not occur and to keep it a secret. However, we know that victims can begin the healing process more quickly when they can talk with someone they trust and get the emotional support they need. Please be aware that if you consider telling someone who is an employee of Shepherd they may be required to report some of the information you have shared. While other Shepherd employees are required to report some information, Shepherd Counseling Services is a confidential resource of emotional support for you. If you live on campus and wish to speak to someone after hours, please utilize your RA to get in contact with a confidential source. For more information on reporting, please click the images below.
EPEC’s mission is to protect victims, prevent violence, and empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. We accomplish this by providing victims and survivors the resources necessary to effectively cope with the personal, social, emotional, and legal ramifications of victimization. With outreach facilities in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties, EPEC offers clients a convenient and safe place for crisis intervention and licensed professional counseling.
The Berkeley County Medical Center in Martinsburg, WV has specially trained nurses to help address any injuries you may have and they can test for sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy. Please be aware there may be charges for this care. You can also choose to have a forensic exam and evidence collection in case you decide in the future to pursue criminal charges. You can decline any part of the exam and you have the option to have an advocate from EPEC with you. For more information about the Forensic Exam please select the FRIS image below.
If you are not comfortable going to the emergency room please consider seeing a nurse at the Shepherd Health Center, who will keep all of your information confidential. They can treat minor injuries, test for sexually transmitted infections, test for pregnancy, and can provide emergency contraception. They can also give prescriptions for antibiotics. For more information on how to access services from the Health Center, please click on the image below.
Although you may not know what you want to do in terms of reporting the experience to law enforcement, you may want to preserve evidence so these options are available to you in the future. For more information about preserving evidence, please click the RAINN image below.
Please know that there are several steps the university can take to help you feel safe on campus following an experience. Sometimes the perpetrator of the experience also lives on campus or attends a class with you. A member of the Residence Life Staff can help you with this.
You have the right to not report your experience, but you also have several on and off-campus resources you can report to. To understand all of your choices and the level of confidentiality associated with each, please click on the Resources and Reporting image below.