Sexual Assault: Get Support
If You Have Experienced a Sexual Assault
After experiencing a traumatizing event such as sexual assault, it can be important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm. This location could be:
- Friend’s room
- Local hospital
- Police station
If you would like to have a survivor advocate meet or accompany you to a local hospital or New York City police precinct, call (212) 854-4357 (24/7, 365 days a year).
Call 911 for immediate police protection and assistance.
- Barnard Public Safety: (212) 854-6666
- Manhattanville Public Safety: (212) 853-3333
- Medical Center Public Safety: (212) 305-7979
- Teachers College Public Safety: (212) 678-3333
If you are being stalked or threatened, or have immediate concerns about your personal safety, Public Safety also provides a Walking Safety Escort Service.
Call a confidential Survivor Advocate or Peer Advocate from Sexual Violence Response at (212) 854-4357 (available 24/7/365). You have the option of working with a staff survivor advocate or, when available, a peer advocate. Both are confidential and certified by the New York City Department of Health to address issues of violence. They can provide crisis intervention and will discuss options for reporting and seeking medical help. They help survivors make informed decisions about their medical, legal, and disciplinary options. Advocates can accompany students to on- and off-campus resources such as hospital emergency departments, the police, the district attorney's office, and Columbia Public Safety.
To speak with non-Columbia resources, you may call any of these hotlines for assistance. These include local and national resources for survivors of sexual assault and other forms of gender- and power-based violence.
- To check for injuries; you may have injuries that you can't see or feel
- To prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and obtain prophylaxis medication
- To prevent pregnancy
- To collect evidence (evidence collection does not require you to place a report with the police; this process preserves evidence for the future and it may vary by state.)
- Columbia Health Medical Services (Morningside, Manhattanville campuses)
- Student Health on Haven (Medical Center Campus)
- Barnard Primary Care Health Service
- Mount Sinai Morningside Emergency Department: (212) 523-3330, West 114th and Amsterdam
- Mount Sinai West Emergency Department: (212) 523-6800, 59th & 10th Avenue
- Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center: Domestic and Other Violent Emergencies (DOVE): (212) 305-9060, West 168th and Broadway
- Crime Victims Treatment Center at Mount Sinai Morningside: (212) 523-4728 – call for appointment Monday- Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
If you would like to have a confidential survivor advocate meet or accompany you to a local hospital, call (212) 854-4357 (24/7, 365 days a year).
For the purposes of evidence collection, if possible, avoid:
- Brushing your teeth
- Combing your hair
- Changing or washing your clothes
If you have done any of these things, evidence can still be collected and remains important in seeking medical attention. If you have changed your clothes, take the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault to the hospital in a paper bag (not a plastic bag). If you have not changed your clothes, it may be a good idea to bring a change of clothes to the hospital. If needed, a survivor advocate from Sexual Violence Response can provide you with needed clothing or other items from the Survivor Care Package.
Counseling is often helpful for survivors because it provides a safe place to talk about your experience and your feelings.
Survivors and Co-Survivors (friends, family, classmates) may choose to speak with an advocate confidentially about:
- Legal information and options:
- Information about your rights in NY state and legal options available to you (both on- and off- campus)
- Enlisting the aid of law enforcement
- Filing a complaint with University Life and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
- Court advocacy or assistance obtaining legal representation
- Assistance drafting a victim impact statement
- On-campus accommodations (housing, academic, financial)
- On- and off-campus referrals (mental health, follow up care, healing support)
- Understanding the sexual assault forensic examination
- Remembering it's not your fault
- Identifying a friend or other support person to be by your side
- Learning how to discuss the incident with family members