Available Services and Support
Here are the services available to you through the Wellness Center, if you or another UCCS student has been a survivor:
Available Medical Services: During weekdays, we keep 8-10 same day walk-in slots open. You can come and get a confidential medical exam done, free of charge, of you disclose you are a sexual assault survivor to your medical provider.
Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (SANE) is done by specialists at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. We can provide you with a transportation voucher to get you to the hospital free of charge.
Available Mental Health Services: We can provide psychotherapy services for all the effects of sexual assault that were mentioned above. We want you to have easy access to us, so although our fees per session is $15, if this is a barrier for you, we will work with you to make sure our support for you is accessible.
Here is where you can find us:
Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center
Phone: (719) 255-4444
When we say "sexual misconduct," we mean any and all of the following:
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Intimate partner abuse
- Gender/sex-based stalking
- Retaliation as related to any form of sexual misconduct
You may find information about definitions and reporting procedures on our Office of Institutional Equity website. Please click here to access this information.
Being a survivor of sexual misconduct has emotional and at times physical impact that we want you to be aware of.
Information on Sexual Assault and Rape
Victims of sexual assault should preserve evidence by avoiding showering, brushing their teeth, placing clothing in a paper bag, saving text messages and emails, taking screenshots of social media posts, and keeping a journal about what happened following the event. Victims may come to the Wellness Center for a free medical consultation and will be offered free emergency contraception if it has been less than 120 hours since the assault. They will also be offered free medications for certain sexually transmitted infection prevention if it has been less than two weeks since the assault, or free sexually transmitted infection testing if it has been greater than two weeks since the assault. The healthcare provider will also explain to the patient what is involved with a sexual assault nurse exam (SANE) done at a local hospital and can call a SANE nurse to have them explain it more in depth if they are interest in learning more. The Wellness Center provider is able to offer a limited exam in the clinic, but they are unable to collect any evidence and are unlikely to see any injuries that can often be seen with specialized equipment during a SANE exam. Patients will also be given information about reporting options and information about victim advocate resources in the community.
Trauma in the Body
When a physical danger threatens our control, ability to escape or is something we can’t stop, we enact a natural instinct for survival. This includes the body summoning a tremendous amount of energy to fight or flee—short circuits. These short circuits ricochet through a person’s body and mind. This can result in shock, dissociation and many other kinds of involuntary responses while the violence is happening.
The short circuit stays with us long after the violence ends, and can live on in the mind, body and spirit in a variety of ways.
Many people who go through traumatic events may find that it can take some time to re-adjust and cope for a period after the event. The residual mental, physical and spiritual effects of sexual assault and rape can permeate the daily lives of survivors, which make it difficult to heal. For some, there are severe effects in the immediate aftermath of an assault that may or may not last. For others, the effects of sexual assault and rape come in waves and are not felt until the shock of the event wears off. With time spent healing, developing strong positive coping mechanisms and taking care of oneself, such reactions tend to become less severe.
Effect of Sexual Assault
There are many short- and long-term effects of sexual assault and rape that affect the mind, body and spirit. Many survivors experience one or more of these effects and they are not mutually exclusive. For example, a physical reaction to trauma such as self-injury can be the result of depression.
The physical, mental and spiritual effects following sexual assault and rape are difficult to cope with. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following effects listed below, know that you are not alone and there are many resources that can help.
We understand how difficult the pain of these experiences can be, and we honor the process of acknowledging these effects with the goal to help guide each person’s individual path to healing.
After a traumatic experience such as a rape or an assault, it is common for a survivor to feel shaken or unlike him or herself. It is a complex form of trauma that breaches the physical, mental and spiritual trust of a person against their will. This can affect a person’s mentality, especially during youth when the brain is highly elastic during its formative years.
Below are some of the common mental effects of sexual assault and rape:
PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Some common symptoms associated with PTSD are flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. With time and support, such traumatic reactions usually get better.
Depression Depression is more than common feelings of temporary sadness. Symptoms can include prolonged sadness, feelings of hopelessness, unexplained crying, changes in appetite with significant weight loss or gain, loss of energy or loss of interest and pleasure in activities previously enjoyed. Depression can affect a person’s outlook, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness. This, in turn, can impact his or her thought process and ability to make decisions. In extreme cases of depression, people may even experience suicidal thoughts and/or attempts. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, refer them to:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK.
- If a UCCS Student: Wellness Center at 719.255.4444
- If after hours: Department of Public Safety at 719.255.3111
- If off campus and urgent: 911
Dissociation Dissociation usually refers to feeling like one has “checked out” or is not present. In some instances of dissociation, people may find themselves daydreaming. But in situations where dissociation is chronic and more complex it may impair an individual's ability to function in the “real” world, such as not being able to focus on work related duties or being able to concentrate on schoolwork.
Coping with the effects of sexual assault and rape can be overwhelming. Some survivors may engage in substance abuse of drugs or alcohol to help him or her cope with the overwhelming feelings. Because a survivor’s control and sense of safety security have been taken away by the perpetrator, engaging in these self-injurious behaviors can also bring a sense of control over a person’s environment and serve as a release of tension. Although not always performed with suicidal intent, substance abuse can result in severe harm or death. Though these coping strategies may seem to bring immediate relief, that feeling is only temporary and these behavior can lead to more challenges in the future.
It is common for a survivor of sexual violence to experience an array of feelings that may be confusing and can create more anxiety, such as anger, distrust and feeling unsafe. It is also common to experience these feelings if you know someone who has experienced an assault or rape. Acknowledge these feelings, and make sure to practice self-care. There is no “correct” way to react to these experiences, and each person who experiences a traumatic event responds differently. The important thing is to be patient. Know that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is not your fault and you are not alone.
Phone: (719) 255-4444