V. Steps to Take Immediately Following Sexual and/or Physical Violence
If a person experiences sexual and/or physical violence, many do not know where to turn for help or what steps to take. Although the choices about which options to explore rest with the victim, those who experience sexual or physical violence should consider the following steps:
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Contact the local law enforcement (911). If the violence occurs on campus, Student Safety should also be notified by calling 641-628-9000.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Those who experience sexual and/or physical violence are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital or medical clinic. If desired, an advocate from Crisis Intervention Services (641-673-5499 or 1-800-270-1620) can accompany a victim to the hospital, and Student Safety or other College personnel can provide transportation (641-628-9000).
For those who experience sexual violence, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the Pella Regional Health Center Emergency Room is on call (call Crisis Intervention Services at 1-800-270-1620 or go directly to the Emergency Room at 405 Monroe, Pella). Other clinical options include:
Pella Medical Center – Emergency/Urgent Care
Pella, IA 50219
641-621-2200 (24/7 Nurseline)
Pella Regional Health Center Medical Clinic
Pella, IA 50219
641-621-2200 (24/7 Nurseline)
For health centers in Iowa: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/ia
or call 877-811-7526
Please be aware that hospital personnel may be obligated to contact proper authorities regarding reported violence. Although you are not obligated to do so, those who experience sexual and/or physical violence are highly encouraged to take advantage of victim’s services to help understand options for off-campus proceedings and receive counseling.
- Preserve Evidence. In the event of a sexual assault, if at all possible, do not change clothes, shower, bathe, douche, defecate, or urinate prior to seeking medical attention. Emergency room personnel are trained to check for injuries, as well as collect physical evidence. It is important to preserve evidence for the proof of a violation of this Policy or of a crime should you decide to pursue charges through law enforcement. Costs for providing and administering the rape kit are incurred by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The hospital staff will collect information, check for injuries, and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render information useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the scene-leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear information for the police to collect. You should also consider preserving texts, emails, social media posts, or other documentation as evidence for either a College resolution process or law enforcement action.
- Remember: you are not alone. Talking with someone who understands can help you sort out the emotional aftermath of sexual and/or physical violence. Because the reactions to these offenses are complex and often confusing, it's important to remember that your feelings are normal and you are not alone. Central College counselors provide free counseling for those who experience sexual and/or physical violence. Additional confidential resources in the area are also available to you:
Central College Counseling Services
Crisis Intervention Services
207 A Ave. E, Oskaloosa, IA 52577
24/7 Emergency hotline: 1-800-270-1620
Pella Community Center
712 Union St.
Capstone – Newton
Capstone – Grinnell
Iowa Victim Service Call Center
Text ‘IowaHelp’ to 20121
Pine Rest Pella Clinic
2611 Washington, Pella
611 Main, Pella
A list of existing Campus and Community Resources for counseling, emergency/safety/security, health, legal assistance, mental health, student financial aid, Title IX coordinator, victim advocacy, visa and immigration assistance for students and employees is included in the Clery Annual Security Report and can be found at https://www.central.edu/policies/policy/682.