Keep U Safe

Ask for Help
Your overall health after an act of sexual violence is important. You should consider going to a place that you feel secure and comfortable. There are a variety of resources available to you to assist in your recovery.

Medical Attention

It’s important to remember you are not alone! Your emotional and physical health are important after a sexual violence incident. You should consider going to a place that you feel secure and comfortable. There are a variety of resources available to you to assist in your recovery. If you, or someone you know, are in immediate danger or need immediate assistance, please call 911.

Preserve Evidence

The examination for evidence collection is often called a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. The policies on police involvement vary from county to county. However, notifying the police or even talking with them while participating in the collection of evidence does not mean that you have to follow through on prosecution or file a formal report.

You will need to sign a consent form before an exam can be done. Evidence taken during a forensic exam can be signed over to the police and then taken to the ND Crime Laboratory for analysis, or it can be held for a minimum of 7 years while you decide if you want to pursue a criminal investigation. Evidence included in the kit will not be analyzed unless it is needed for prosecution of the perpetrator.

If you wish to have an evidence collection kit, you can do so at Trinity Hospital. An advocate from the Domestic Violence Crisis Center or the Title IX Coordinator can assist you in obtaining an exam and explain the process to you. Law enforcement agencies including the Minot Police Department can also assist in this process. If you do not wish to report the incident to law enforcement or want to do so at a later time, you can still have an exam.

For evidence collection, it is best if you do not:

  • Shower
  • Brush your teeth
  • Urinate
  • Eat or drink
  • Change clothes

The exam can be done up to 96 hours post assault even if you have showered or done any of the other things listed above.

Police Involvement

  • Calling the police or even talking with them while participating in the collection of evidence does not mean that you have to follow through on prosecution or file a formal report.
  • Evidence taken during a forensic exam can be signed over to the police and then taken to the ND Crime Laboratory for analysis, or it can be held for a minimum of 7 years while you decide if you want to pursue a criminal investigation. Evidence included in the kit will not be analyzed unless it is needed for prosecution of the perpetrator.

About the Exam

  • The examination is similar to a general OB/GYN exam and begins with taking information about what happened.
  • The exam is generally completed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who is specially trained. The overall purpose for the exam is to make sure the patient is not injured and to gather evidence from the survivor’s body. Regardless of the survivor’s gender, the exam includes specimens gathered from the part of the body that was assaulted including internal and external genital areas. Additionally, samples are usually obtained from fingernails, hair and mouth.
  • You will need to sign a consent form before an exam can be done. All survivors have a right to have the examination explained prior to giving consent. Also, you have the right to refuse any part of the examination.
  • There is no fee for this examination.
  • All survivors have the right to have an advocate present during the entire exam and hospital visit. An advocate from the Domestic Violence Crisis Center is available to accompany you.
  • The SANE will need to ask questions about the assault in order to make decisions about the type of examination to be done. You may need to answer questions that are sometimes very uncomfortable regarding the types of sexual acts which were done either by or to you. These questions may sound intrusive but are usually asked in a non-judgmental manner.
  • You will be examined externally to check for any signs of injury and contact. All signs of injury will be documented.
  • Pictures may be taken if there is noticeable trauma to the body.
  • Clothing is also taken although this does not usually include coats and shoes.
  • Replacement clothing may be brought from home. Clothing given to the police will be used for evidence and will not be returned. If you have already changed your clothing, place the clothing you had on at the time of the assault in a paper bag, preferably one item per bag. Try not to use plastic, as it can destroy evidence.
  • Some centers will do baseline testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some facilities will give medications/prescriptions based on preventative treatment and survivors must be given information and access to emergency contraception. Sometimes centers will refer you to other programs for STI testing. This is also available at the student health center on your campus.
  • If you believe you were drugged prior to the sexual assault, it is important to disclose that information so that a drug screen can be done.
  • HIV testing is available and should be discussed. You can contact the student health center on campus to ask for more information about testing.

Counseling and Support

The University offers many supportive resources on campus for students to speak about any incident that has occurred. We have both confidential resources and private (but non-confidential) resources. The difference between these resources is explained below.

Confidential Resources
Minot State University has several “confidential” resources available, including counselors, campus ministry and healthcare providers. These are people that, in general, are not obligated to share any personally identifying information about a report of sexual violence (such as the survivor or accused’s name) with law enforcement, the Title IX Coordinator, or any other University administrator. A report to a confidential source will not trigger an investigation or disciplinary action by the police or the university.

Confidential resources can offer the following assistance:

  • Provide information about how to file a complaint with the University or law enforcement;
  • Direct the student to other forms of protection and support, such as victim advocacy, accommodations, and/or health or counseling services;
  • Provide students with immediate and long-term help.

Private Resources
The University recognizes that students may be most comfortable disclosing incidents of sexual violence to a University employee they know well, such as a faculty member, coach or resident advisor. These “non-confidential” employees will protect and respect students’ privacy to the greatest extent possible and share information only on a need-to-know basis; however, they cannot serve as a confidential resource for students.

Any University employee (other than the confidential resources identified below) who receives a report about sexual violence conduct prohibited by the University sexual misconduct policy is required to inform the Title IX Coordinator about the incident. This means that these individuals are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details, including the name of the individual who made the report, the alleged victim (if different), and the alleged perpetrator, any witnesses, and other relevant facts. However, this does not mean that the University will automatically initiate a formal investigation of the incident(s). Rather, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the alleged victim to assess any request for confidentiality or anonymity, and determine how to respond to the report in a way that will stop and prevent recurrence of the alleged misconduct and provide remediation to the victim.