On college campuses, acquaintance and date rape are more apt to occur than rape by strangers. Research on college women indicates as many as 20 percent of the female population may at some point be sexually coerced by acquaintances.
While some students may not think of forced sexual relations as rape, such action constitutes a serious crime and is a felony under Section 14:42 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.
If You Are the Victim of Sexual Assault
Contact a friend to help you collect your thoughts and focus on your needs. If the assault occurred on campus, call the MSU Police Department at 475-5711 or at 911. If the assault occurred off campus, call the Lake Charles Police Department or the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff¹s Office (911) or the Rape Crisis Center at 494-7273.
Obtain Medical Care
Quickly obtain medical care from a hospital emergency room. Do not bath, shower, douche, or change clothes before seeking medical attention. The treatment for rape may require an examination at a designated hospital, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, medication to prevent pregnancy and documenting evidence so you can decide whether to pursue prosecution.
Assist in the Investigation
It is a personal decision whether to report a rape or sexual assault to police, but you are strongly encouraged to do so. The primary concern of the police is your safety and well-being; the second and third concerns are apprehending the assailant and preserving the evidence of the crime.
Whether or not you report the assault or pursue prosecution, you should consult a trained counselor for help in dealing with the emotional aftermath of a rape. Trained counselors are available at the MSU Counseling Center and the Rape Crisis Center. Talking with a counselor or psychologist in no way compels a victim to take further action.
A victim may choose to pursue action through the campus judicial system if the offense was committed by another student. The Office of Student Services (475-5706) is available to advise victims of their rights under the Code of Student Conduct. Even if you choose not to pursue disciplinary action, you are encouraged to report your experience to the Office of Student Services.