Personal Safety/Sexual Assault

Personal safety is one of the most important aspects of health. Whether it is relationship violence, an assault that occurs, bullying, or some other issue that threatens your personal safety, Student Health Services (SHS) wants you to know that resources are available on campus to help you.
Who can help?

Think assault and relationship violence only happens to women? It can happen to ANYONE.
SHS has trained forensic nurse examiners on staff that can assist victims of sexual assault at our Main Campus SHS. We can provide information, appropriate testing for health concerns related to the assault, and can also collect evidence kits during our normal business hours. Sexual assault and abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, including:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
  • Sexual intercourse that you say no to
  • Rape
  • Attempted rape

If you, or someone you know, has been assaulted:

  • Get to a safe place, call 911 or a trusted family member or friend. If on campus, remember the blue light emergency stations on campus that link immediately to police.
  • Know that rape and sexual assault ARE NEVER THE VICTIM’S FAULT. No matter where or how it happens.
  • Call or suggest calling a rape crisis center. You can call the ECU Center for Counseling and Student Development at (252) 328-6661 or the REAL Crisis Center at (252) 758-4357.
  • Preserve evidence of the rape. Try to encourage the victim not to eat, drink, or smoke. The victim should also not bathe or shower. Evidence of the rape would literally be washed away. Keep all clothing from the rape. SHS can collect rape kits during normal business hours at our Main Campus SHS, or the victim can go to Vidant Medical Center’s Emergency Department.
  • Bruises, cuts, and sexually transmitted infections may all be of medical concern. Seek treatment with a medical provider, even if you do not want evidence collected.
  • If your friend has been raped, help him/her organize his/her thoughts about how to proceed. Do not take control or make decisions for him/her. Present options, but let your friend make the final choices.

Ways to reduce your chance of being a victim:

  • Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.
  • Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
  • Know your limits when it comes to using alcohol and other mind altering substances.
  • Be assertive — don’t let anyone violate your space.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave.
  • Don’t prop open self-locking doors.
  • Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
  • Watch your keys. Don’t lend them. Don’t leave them. Don’t lose them. And don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
  • Watch out for unwanted visitors. Know who’s on the other side of the door before you open it.
  • Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
  • Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
  • Have your key ready to use before you reach the door — home, car, or work.
  • Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.
  • Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.
  • Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.
  • Keep your car in good shape with plenty of gas in the tank.