Step 1: Seek Help
If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you are on campus, you can call University Police at 828.251.6710.
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Try to preserve physical evidence. Do not shower, bathe, douche, drink or eat, smoke, or change clothes. If changing clothes is unavoidable, put all the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault in a paper bag.
- Contact someone you trust and who can help you, such as the police, a friend, a counselor or your local sexual assault agency. Our VOICE, the Buncombe county rape crisis center has advocates who are available to speak with you, and/or meet you at a hospital emergency department or police station, 24 hours a day. To get in touch with an Our VOICE advocate, call the crisis line at 828.255.7576.
Step 2: Seek Confidential Medical Attention
If you need immediate medical attention because you’ve experienced physical or sexual violence, go to a hospital emergency room. Mission Hospital in Asheville is the closest hospital to the UNC Asheville campus. Getting medical attention does not mean you have to pursue criminal charges. You also may decide to have a rape kit done. Transportation to a hospital can be arranged by calling University Police at 828.251.6710.
For Sexual Assaults
A specific sexual assault examination can be done that addresses your medical needs, as well as the collection of forensic evidence that may be useful should you decide to report the crime and press charges. You are under no obligation to prosecute even if you have the evidence collection kit done. Medical evidence can be collected up to 72 hours after an assault. This can be done at a hospital emergency room.
A trained Our VOICE advocate will be called to meet you at the hospital, though it is your choice whether they stay or leave.
In the emergency room, you can receive:
- A medical examination and/or treatment
- Prophylaxis (antibiotics to prevent certain sexually transmitted infections)
- Evidence collection
- Emergency contraception (if applicable)
UNC Asheville Health Services are available for non-emergency medical care and an appointment can be made by calling 828.251.6520. Health Services provides free testing for certain sexually transmitted infections to UNC Asheville students. They also provide pregnancy testing and emergency contraception (Plan B) for a small fee and can help direct you to other resources you may need.
Step 3: Report the Incident to the University
You are encouraged to report sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and other criminal activity and misconduct to the university. Reporting to the university provides you with the option of addressing the incident under the university’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence policy. It also allows the university to provide any available interim protective measures such as academic accommodations, changes to housing, and changes to class or work schedules. At the time a report is made, you are not required to decide on any particular course of action.
You are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator below to report any incidents. They can also help you contact law enforcement to investigate the incident. Feel free to bring a support person along with you to make the report.
Dr. Melanie Fox
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Step 4: Recovery
Let Others Help
- University Health & Counseling provides free confidential health and counseling services for students (828.251.6520).
- Friends and family can offer support by listening to you, keeping you company, walking to class with you, or going to appointments.
- Our VOICE, the local rape crisis center has over 40 years of experience helping and advocating for survivors of sexual assault. They can help you make choices about reporting, joining a support group, or finding a counselor. They can be reached 24/7 at 828.255.7576.
Months after an Assault
Recovery is an ongoing gradual process. There are many reactions after trauma, and some symptoms may appear months after an assault. Reach out to your personal support network or speak with a counselor or psychologist.