Penn State University offers student victims of sexual assault medical treatment, emotional support, and access to legal information. Health care options, resources for psychological care, and sources of legal information can be found in our Resource Directory. You may wish to review them and contact the various services as you need.
All services to sexual assault victims are confidential; however, hospital personnel are required by law to report rapes to the police. It is the victim's choice whether or not to talk to the police.
University Health Services
University Health Services
Student Health Center
Penn State's University Health Services is the only place for medical treatment on campus. Please take note that the facility is now housed in the new Student Health Center building on Bigler Road. If you should have an emergency situation that does not occur during business hours, use the Emergency Medicine department at the Mt. Nittany Medical Center.
It is important to seek medical attention immediately after and as a follow-up to sexual assault to determine the presence of physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy, and to obtain evidence to assist in criminal prosecution. Ideally, physical evidence should be collected immediately, but it should be collected no later than 96 hours following a rape.
Immediate Emergency Services
Mt. Nittany Medical Center
1800 E. Park Ave.
Within the first 96 hours after an assault, a special exam that includes the collection of evidence that may be used in criminal prosecution can be conducted. The exam is performed by a specially trained health care provider called a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE), who is typically a nurse. It is important for the SAFE to recover and document any evidence of the assault during the brief time period that evidence is detectable following a sexual assault. Having the examination for the collection of evidence does not automatically mean you are agreeing to a criminal investigation. However, should you decide you want to pursue that option later, any evidence collected would then be available to help support the investigation. The evidence collection exam is available to Penn State students at the Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department. Medical care and evaluation are available at University Health Services (UHS) on campus even if you do not opt to have the collection of evidence done. Medical needs related to the assault can be addressed at this visit.
If you are a woman and have been raped, there is a risk for a resulting pregnancy. There is a medication called Emergency Contraceptive Pills, or ECP, that may reduce this risk by as much as 75%. It must be administered within 120 hours of the rape to be effective. ECP is available over the counter for women 18 and older. For women students younger than 18, a prescription for ECP is available through UHS.
To protect your privacy, the University has arranged with Mount Nittany Medical Center to have the University pay for the exam and medical tests. Additionally, certain follow-up tests provided by UHS related to the rape will be paid for by the University.
There are several options available to victims needing to get to the Mount Nittany Medical Center (click for map). An ambulance can be reached by calling 911. Taxi vouchers are available from University Health Services by calling 814-863-4463. Another option is the Centre County Women's Resource Center, which has trained volunteers who can transport and accompany sexual assault victims to the hospital. Their 24-hour hotline number is 814-234-5050.
While most victims of sexual assault are women, some victims are men. It is important for men to know that male victims at Penn State are offered the same support services as women, including transportation and payment provisions. Male victims are eligible for the special exam at Mount Nittany Medical Center, with follow-up or later care provided at University Health Services in the Student Health Center on campus. If you say that you have been a victim of sexual assault, you will receive priority over routine patients.
After the initial treatment for rape, it is critical that the victim receives follow-up care. The testing done immediately after an assault or within a few days does not necessarily identify all potential problems that could result from a rape. A follow-up exam and testing two weeks after the rape affords the opportunity to find medical problems such as infections that may have gone undetected during the initial exam. Follow-up exams should be scheduled at UHS by calling 814-863-0774 regardless of where the initial exam took place.
Non-Emergency Medical Procedures
If the rape or sexual assault occurred in the recent or distant past and you did not have the emergency exam within the first 96 hours, it is still important to have a medical exam. This exam will include treatment of any physical problems and various lab tests for sexually transmissible diseases and pregnancy. This non-emergency treatment for women can be arranged by calling UHS's Nurse Advice Line at 814-863-4463. When providing services to a victim, the primary concern is the student's health and safety. It is important to hold the perpetrator accountable, not the victim. Being reprimanded for drug and alcohol offenses is not the University's primary concern; the student's well-being takes precedence.
If you are feeling anxious about your symptoms and come for treatment after seventy-two hours, you can still be seen at the Mt. Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department. However, at that time, the full rape evidence collection exam cannot be done.