What to Do If You or a Friend Has Been Sexually Assaulted

What is rape/sexual assault?

Sexual assault/rape is forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact. When someone forces you to have sex that is rape— even if you know the person. The offender could be a friend, classmate, relative, co-worker, someone you just met at a party or bar that night. Sexual assault can happen between people who are the same or different sex/gender. Sexual assault is against the law and a violation of the University Code of Conduct.

Common Reactions to Sexual Violence

Sexual assault of any kind can result in a host of reactions—some are immediate, some can be long term. The variety of reactions may depend on the survivor's previous life experience, the kind of force used, the relationship of the offender to the victim, etc. Most survivors experience levels of fear, anger, self-blame, depression and anxiety that can be exhibited both emotionally and physically. Difficulty sleeping and concentrating, social withdrawal, nightmares, flashbacks, emotional numbing are all common reactions to sexual assault.

Immediate Needs & Safety

  • It's not your fault!
  • Go to a safe place.
  • Contact a friend or family member you trust to be with you.
  • You may want to call the local sexual assault center, RACES, at 217-384-4444 or the Emergency Dean at 217-333-0050; they can answer questions and concerns.
  • You may want to get medical attention for possible injuries, STI’s, pregnancy and/or for evidence collection if you would like to pursue a criminal complaint.

Next Steps

Emotional well-being/counseling and support services

  • This website, which was created by the Student Assistance Center, Office of the Dean of Students, Women's Resources Center, Office of University Counsel, Office of Diversity Equity and Access, and the University of Illinois Police, summarizes resources available for you on campus and in our community to help you decide what actions to take and how to find support.
  • Women’s Resources Center—provides individual supportive advocacy services. Contact them at 217-333-3137. 
  • Rape Advocacy Counseling & Education Services (RACES)—provides individual counseling and other support services. Contact their office at 217-344-6298, or the 24-hour crisis line 217-344-4444.
  • University of Illinois Counseling Center—provides individual and group therapy to aid in recovering from sexual trauma. Initial appointments are made on a same-day basis by calling the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704 any time after 7:50 a.m. Appointments tend to fill up quickly, so students are encouraged to call early on the day that they would like to meet with a counselor. 
  • The Counseling Center offers the Women’s Empowerment Group. Visit the group counseling page of our site or call 217-333-3704 for more information. 

Reporting what happened

  • Police (University of Illinois)—immediate emergency reports can be made by calling 911. For non-emergency situations, call University of Illinois Police at 217-333-1216. The University of Illinois Police work closely with other police agencies and student affairs units to ensure students receive comprehensive services when they make the decision to report an incident.
  • Office for Student Conflict Resolution—handles complaints against University of Illinois students related to sexual misconduct. They are located at 300 Turner Student Services Building; 610 E. John Street, Champaign. You can contact them for an appointment to talk with a Dean at 217-333-3680. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. F
  • Civil No Contact Order—a court order that requires the offender to stay away from the victim. You can get it on your own by going to the Champaign County Court House and ask the Circuit Clerk for assistance with the forms. You can also call both the Women’s Resources Center (217-333-3137) and Rape Advocacy Counseling & Education Services (217-344-6298) to ask for assistance and to have someone go to court with you. 

Making sure you are healthy

  • McKinley Health Center—provides medical services for injuries, STI and pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, crisis intervention, emotional support, referrals for additional help and follow-up care. Call 217-333-2700 for an appointment or more information.
  • Carle Foundation Hospital—provides emergency care and evidence collection following sexual assault. Call 217-383-3313 for more information.
  • Presence Covenant Medical Center—provides emergency care and evidence collection following sexual assault. Call 217-337-2131 for more information.

Keeping up with classes:

  • Student Assistance Center—Walk-in assistance; counseling, advocacy and referral services; assistance with complaints, class absences, and withdrawals; report acts of intolerance. The Student Assistance Center offers 24-hour support to students. Professional staff and Intake Deans, are available to assist students Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. to assist with a range of issues which may be impacting their academic success including those related to health/mental health, problems with attendance or absence letters, the need to drop or withdraw from courses, information about various campus resources, etc. Call 217-333-0050 or email helpdean@illinois.edu.
  • After 5 p.m., there is an Emergency Dean who is on call to assist students and families with more urgent situations and crises that require immediate attention and cannot wait until the next business day. The Emergency Dean also serves as a resource to students/families, faculty/staff, community and University law enforcement agencies, hospitals and crisis centers. For medical, mental health or life threatening emergencies, please call 911.


*The information above is used with permission from the Women’s Resource Center Web site.