Confidential resources can NOT share identifying information about you without your
written consent (except in situations of child or elder abuse, serious threats of
harm to self or others, or response to a court order).
The Counseling Center is a confidential service for students and is not required to report sexual violence,
except in situations of child or elder abuse, serious threats of harm to self or others,
or in response to a court order. Appointments are available Monday to Friday, 8 AM
to 5 PM. Call 410-704-2512 to schedule an appointment.
TurnAround is a local organization that provides free and confidential counseling and advocacy for
anyone 24/7. Call their hotline at 443-279-0379 or 410-377-8111 to schedule an appointment.
The Health Center offers free services for victims/survivors including emergency contraception, exams
and certain testing and lab work. Students must disclose that they are seeking services
as a result of sexual violence to receive free care. The Health Center is obligated
to report to the University, but can do so anonymously. Appointments are available
Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. Call 410-704-2466 or email healthcenter AT_TOWSON to schedule an appointment.
A sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) exam collects and preserves DNA evidence
after sexual assault. This evidence could be used if criminal charges are pursued.
For more information on SAFE exams see the Frequently Asked Question “I think I want a SAFE exam, what should I do?” below.
A SAFE exam is NOT medical treatment. However, treatment can be given after an exam.
If you are only interested in medical treatment, and not a SAFE exam, you can go to
any local medical provider.
Private resources are REQUIRED to report incidences of sexual violence to the Towson University Office of Inclusion
& Institutional Equity/Title IX Coordinator. This includes all university administrators,
all non-confidential employees in their supervisory roles, all faculty, all athletic
coaches, university law enforcement, and Residential Assistants. Among Towson University’s
offices and departments, most offer privacy, NOT confidentiality, to those who report
The Title IX Coordinator provides private support for students, faculty, and staff
who have experienced sexual violence including interim measures and accommodations.
The office investigates incidents of sexual violence involving members of the University
community. You can reach the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity in person
at Administration Bldg. Room 214, by phone at 410-704-0203 or by emailing titleix AT_TOWSON.
Individuals who have experienced sexual violence often face challenges with work or
academic obligations, regaining a sense of control over their environment, or a sense
of safety. Towson can help by providing accommodations and interim measures.
Accommodations and Interim Measures
The Title IX Coordinator can help arrange for accommodations or interim measures such
- Order of no contact with other individual involved (Peace or Protective Orders can
be obtained through Baltimore County District Court)
- Emergency housing
- Permanent housing accommodations
- Academic adjustments
- Transportation assistance
Signs and Symptoms of Trauma
Individuals who experience trauma have unique responses and there is no one “right”
way for a person to react. Some of the signs you may see could include:
- Shock, disbelief, numbness, withdrawal
- Preoccupation with thoughts or feelings about the incident
- Unwanted memories, flashbacks, nightmares
- Intense anger, fear, anxiety, or depression
- Physical symptoms like loss of sleep, loss of appetite, headaches, stomach aches
- Inability to concentrate, lower grades
- Loss of focus on academics or things that used to be a focus
- Loss of interest in sex, or increased sexual activity
- Fears about safety
- Feelings of guilt and shame
If you believe someone you know may be experiencing sexual violence, use your voice
to let them know you care about their well-being, and that you can help.
How do you help a friend?
If someone you know shows signs that they are experiencing, or have been a victim/survivor
of sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking, there are ways
you can help:
Listen. Do not ask prying questions. Let your friend take their time. Follow their lead on
what they would like to share. Focus on their story and do not share other stories
of sexual violence.
Believe. People rarely make up stories about sexual violence. Don’t express skepticism or
ask them to prove what they endured. Remember that there is a wide range of responses
to sexual violence. It is normal to be confused or conflicted.
Do NOT Blame. Remind your friend they are not to blame. Remember that however your friend responded
was exactly what they needed to do to survive.
Support. Ask “what do you need?” or “how can I help?” Assure your friend that you will be
available to provide support throughout the process of recovery. Recovery from sexual
violence trauma is slow. Let them proceed at their own pace.
Empower. Empower your friend to make their own choices. Help them understand and consider
their medical, legal and psychological options and share campus resources. Ultimately
it is their decision what action to take, if any.
Know Your Limits. There are times where professional help is best. A trained therapist may be essential
to helping your friend work through trauma associated with sexual violence and find
more effective ways of coping.
Get Support. As a support person, you may also have strong feelings about sexual violence. If
needed, seek counseling for yourself.
I think I want a SAFE exam, what should I do?
You can have a SAFE exam up to five days after a sexual assault, but the sooner you
are able to get a SAFE exam, the more evidence can be collected. Try not to shower,
clean yourself, or urinate after an attack, but even if you have, don’t let that stop
you from getting to the hospital as soon as possible. A SAFE nurse will listen to
you about what happened, collect evidence, and have a medical provider take care of
any physical injuries. You can get medicine to prevent sexually transmitted infections
and pregnancy. The evidence collected can be sent directly to the police or held for
a later date. The amount of time evidence can be held varies by legal jurisdiction.
To preserve evidence after an assault and before a SAFE exam, place anything that
may contain physical evidence such as sheets, pillows, blankets, and the clothes you
were wearing (only if you have already taken them off, keep them on if possible) into
a paper bag and bring it with you to the hospital. If you are able to, avoid bathing,
showering, using the restroom, changing your clothes, combing your hair, putting on
any makeup, or cleaning up the area of the assault until after you have completed
the SAFE exam and/or finished filing a report. If you are able, you may want to bring
a clean change of clothes to wear after the SAFE exam.
Once you begin a SAFE exam, you can skip any part of the exam or stop at any time.
Having a SAFE exam does NOT mean you have to report to the police.
You may bring a friend or an advocate to the hospital with you, but only trained professionals
are allowed in the room during the exam. TurnAround provides free medical advocates that can talk you through the process beforehand,
accompany you to appointments, and assist you in any medical follow-up.
GBMC typically sees individuals who were assaulted in Baltimore County and Mercy Medical typically sees individuals who were assaulted in Baltimore City due to police jurisdiction.
Does the Health Center on campus provide SAFE exams?
A SAFE exam is a sexual assault forensic evidence exam. They are not provided by the
Health Center; however, Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) and Mercy Hospital
offer SAFE exams. Students in crisis can contact the Towson University Police at 410-704-4444
to arrange for transportation, even if they do not wish to file a police report at
the time. The Towson University Health Center also offers cab fare waivers to students
in need of transportation to GBMC. No one is required to get a SAFE exam, but we encourage
victims/survivors to be seen by a health professional.
What is a victim/survivor advocate? How can they help me?
A victim/survivor advocate is an individual trained to support victims and survivors
of sexual violence through any legal, medical, or university proceedings. Advocates
are confidential and can NOT disclose any information about you without your written
consent. Advocates can help you decide how you would like to proceed after experiencing sexual
violence by providing information and options. They can provide detailed information
on university, legal, and medical procedures for victims/survivors. Advocates can
also accompany victims and survivors to the police station, legal proceedings, university
meetings, and/or the hospital. Although advocates will accompany a victim/survivor
to SAFE exams, they are not allowed inside the room where the exam is conducted.
Turnaround provides a 24-hour helpline and victim/survivor advocates. You can reach
the hotline at 443-279-0379. They provide free advocates who can assist through all
steps in university, medical, or legal proceedings.
The Towson University Counseling Center provides confidential mental health services
to any Towson University student, including victim/survivors and accused students.
Counselors can support students as they decisions about how to proceed through the
steps of any university, medical, or legal proceedings. You can reach the Counseling
Center Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm at 410-704- 2512.
I need help making sure I’m not contacted or followed. What are my options?
If you need enforced physical or other separation you have several options.
You can file a no contact order with Towson University through the Office of Inclusion
& Institutional Equity. No contact orders are enforceable by Towson University, and
are only applicable when all parties are affiliated with Towson University.
You can also obtain a Peace or Protective order from a judge. This is an order issued
by a court of law and is enforceable by police. Protective orders apply to people
in domestic relationships (for example current or former spouse, legal relative, share
a child, had a previous sexual relationship in the recent past). Peace orders apply
to individuals who have not been in a domestic relationship. Learn more about how to file for a peace or protective order in Maryland.
TurnAround advocates can support individuals through the process of applying for a no contact,
peace, or protective order.
What services does the Counseling Center offer?
Counseling Center staff are trained to support victims and survivors of sexual violence.
The Counseling Center offers a range of services for our students including short-term
individual therapy, group therapy, psychiatry, and referral services. The Counseling
Center also offers a therapy group for victims and survivors. They also offer a wide
variety of workshops, educational programming, and a meditation series to promote
students’ mental health and well-being.
What university accommodations are available?
The university can consider accommodations that involve university housing, academic
classes, no-contact orders, and transportation accommodation requests. These requests
should be made through the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity/Title IX Coordinator
via phone at 410-704-0203 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.