Caring for Victims of Sexual Assault

Caring for Victims of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that often leaves those involved with profound long-term psychological effects, aside from obvious physical traumas that may have occurred.   Early treatment, however, can mediate these long-term effects.

The Student Health Service recognizes the impact sexual assault has on individual students and the campus environment.   We work to prevent and respond to incidences of sexual assault by collaborating with campus partners such as the University of Pittsburgh Police, Title IX officer, Counseling Center, Office of SHARE, Dean of Students Office, and Residential Life and other campus groups as well as other community support services.

The Student Health Service objective is to manage both male, female and LGBTQ victims of sexual assault in a consistent, compassionate, and confidential manner that ensures patients receive appropriate medical and emotional care and support.

The Student Health Service provides compassionate medical care and referral for counseling for students who have been sexually assaulted.   This includes but is not limited testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases as well as appropriate treatment. Follow-up care is also provided and encouraged.

The Student Health Service provides ongoing confidential medical treatment for any physical problems related to an assault.   Student Health Service can assess for:

  • pregnancy risk,
  • test and treat for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and,
  • assess, treat, and/or offer/give referrals for physical injuries.

Medical doctors at Student Health Service routinely assess for signs of Interpersonal Dating Violence and can provide medical support and referrals for emotional support as well.

Students are encouraged to contact the SHARE office in the Counseling Center and or other community resources, including Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) for additional support.

The Student Health Service cannot perform a forensic medical exam (rape examination) for collection of evidence and thus refers all such patients to Emergency Department of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC (Room, 300 Halket Street, 412-641-4933).   Magee is staffed with Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of patients who has experienced sexual assault or abuse.

The clinical staff of the Student Health Service are trained to provide privileged and confidential care and communications with all our patients.   All discussions, treatment and care for the victim is done in confidence.   Staff are only to report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information.   This is done via the Clery Report.

Campus Resources


University Counseling Center: 412-648-7930
 University Counseling Center Sexual Assault Coordinator: 412-648-7930
 Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education:
 Title IX Coordinator:  412-648-7860
 University Police:  412-624-2121
 Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR):  1-866-363-7273