If you believe that you are the victim of sexual abuse:
- Get to a safe place.
- Try not to bathe, shower, eat, drink, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom before going to the emergency room. Valuable evidence remains on your body and clothes. Even if you have showered, brushed your teeth, etc., please seek medical care in the emergency department.
- Try not to change your clothes (if you already have, put your clothes in a clean paper bag and bring them with you to the emergency department). Bring a change of clothing if you can.
- Seek medical attention in the emergency department.
- If within Allegheny County, you can request that the hospital staff contact a PAAR medical advocate at 1-866-END-RAPE (1-866-363-7273). This is a free and confidential service. If not in Allegheny County, you can have a hospital staff person contact the nearest rape crisis center.
- If you are concerned about pregnancy, emergency contraception may be an available option. Talk to your health care provider.
- Please be aware that hospital staff will likely report your assault to the police. It is up to you if you would like to talk to the officer or not. If you decide to make a police report, the sooner you report the better.
- As a victim, you may be eligible for reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses from the Pennsylvania Victims Compensation program. Contact PAAR for additional information.
- Please call us. No matter what you decide to do, you have done your very best. Contact PAAR at 1-866-END-RAPE (1-866-363-7273).