If you are raped or sexually assaulted, you should:

  • Get to a safe place as soon as you can;
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence;
  • Get medical attention;
  • Contact BSUDPS by calling (301) 860-HOTT (4688) or the Prince George's County Police Department by dialing 911;
  • Talk with a counselor; and
  • Contact someone you trust

Immediate steps for self-care and safety

Immediately after the assault you may be in a state of shock. Usually, your first reaction will be to take a bath or shower. Please do not. Instead, wrap yourself in something warm such as a blanket or coat. Call someone to help you immediately.

We recommend that you call the Henry Wise Wellness Center at 301-860-4171, and/or Counseling Services in Thurgood Marshall Library, Room 001, at 301-860-4161 for an initial contact.

Victims react to this state of shock in different ways. Some are upset, angry, or calm. Whatever your reaction, you may be able to make better decisions by talking to someone you trust or someone trained, instead of responding to your initial feelings immediately after the crime.

Staying warm, instead of cleaning up right away, will help you accomplish two important things:

  1. you will be helping your body to recover from the shock due to the assault;
  2. you will not have disturbed or destroyed any evidence needed to prosecute.

It is extremely important that you:


  • Get to a safe place
  • Call the police for help
  • Lock doors and windows
  • Keep warm
  • Get medical attention
  • Eat or drink something
  • Eat or drink something
  • Take a change of clothes to the hospital or sexual assault center
  • If you must change your clothes, put them in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence)


  • Shower or bathe
  • Brush or comb your hair
  • Douche
  • Urinate (if possible)
  • Change clothes
  • Brush or rinse your teeth
  • Smoke
  • Touch things at the crime scene


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