Women's Center

Sexual Assault and Rape

Sexual assault is any physical act of a sexual nature performed without consent or when the victim is unable to give consent. If you have been assaulted, or know someone who has, please contact us immediately at 919-684-3897 during normal business hours, or at 919-886-6814 after hours and on weekends.

Who to Call for Help at Duke
Contact the Women’s Center to talk confidentially with someone who can help you make the decisions that feel right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to someone now about an assault. No matter when you have been sexually assaulted, you can benefit from talking with someone.

  • Monday–Friday, 9am-5pm: Call 919-684-3897, email WCHelp@duke.edu, or walk in – no appointment necessary.
  • After-hours, weekends, holidays: Call 919-886-6814 or email WCHelp@duke.edu
  • If this is an emergency situation and you feel you are in danger, call 911 or Duke police at 919-684-2444.

Things to Consider After a Recent Sexual Assault
If you have been sexually assaulted within the past 120 hours, it is important to get the proper medical intervention and legal protection. Call us first to talk through your options. Seek medical attention immediately to have the most options for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Even if you do not think you are injured, there may be injuries as a result of sexual assault that you cannot see. Duke Hospital has special sexual assault nurse examiners to administer forensic examinations and test for STIs and pregnancy. The Student Health Center can also test for STIs and pregnancy. Someone from the Women's Center can accompany you to the health center or hospital.

You can get evidence collected anonymously. Know that evidence is best collected within 120 hours of the assault. Do not shower or bathe, wash your hands or clothing, change your clothing or bedding, use the toilet, or eat or drink.  Even if you do not think you would like to pursue a criminal case now, you can have the evidence collected anonymously so you can decide later whether filing a report with police is right for you.

Sexual assault is a crime AS WELL as a violation of Duke Student Conduct policy. You can hold a perpetrator accountable through either or both systems. Duke University has a very clear sexual misconduct policy. Sexual assault is any physical act of a sexual nature that is without consent or when the victim is unable to give consent. There is a difference between reporting to police and reporting to the Office of Student Conduct. It is best to talk to someone at the Women's Center about the differences between the two systems since what happens next depends on the nature of the case. You can report an assault to Duke Police (919-684-2444) or to the Office of Student Conduct or to the Office for Institutional Equity.

The Women’s Center’s services are CONFIDENTIAL. Counselors cannot share your personal information with anyone without your written permission. If you would like to talk to someone, help is available. It is your choice to talk to someone about what happened.

At Duke, the following entities are confidential resources for those who are experiencing or have experienced gender violence: Women's Center, medical providers, campus clergy, and CAPS counselors. All of these resources are prohibited from sharing any personal information without your permission unless someone's life is in danger, or they are ordered to by a court of law. However, if you disclose your assault to staff at Duke, including RAs, RCs and other Student Affairs staff, they are obligated to file a report with the Office of Student Conduct. 

How We Can Help
Here is a document to help you know what to expect if you decide to contact us regarding an experience with gender violence.

How Friends & Family Can Help
Unless you are a trained victim's advocate, the best things you can do are provide a place for your friend to vent their emotions, validate their feelings, and refer them to someone with experience and expertise such as the Women's Center. Refer to this site for additional guidance on how to help an affected friend, partner or family member. http://knowyourix.org/i-want-to/support-survivor/

For more information about what you can do and other resources, refer to the RAINN website.

Additional suggested resources: