If You Or Someone You Know Has Been Sexually Assaulted

You have the option to contact law enforcement or connect with a community-based program by typing in your zip code to find a program near you.


options_gal_arms_foldedWhat are My Options?

You are facing some very difficult decisions. Everyone reacts differently to an assault. You may be considering reporting the assault to the authorities, seeking medical attention, or finding emotional support. You do not have to navigate these decisions alone. Here are some options you can consider:

  • Report to law enforcement: If you report the assault you may be assigned a victim witness coordinator who will support you with resources and assist you through the criminal justice system. Additionally, you have the option of having an exam done to collect evidence.
  • Seek medical care: You may choose to go to a hospital, clinic or personal doctor so that you can be checked by a medical professional and provided with information about treatment, unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Attend Counseling: You may choose to speak with a counselor. You may be able to access counseling through your employer’s employee assistance program, your university health center, local advocacy program, or through a private referral.
  • Work with an Advocate: You may choose to work with a local community based advocate. Advocates can help you understand what to expect if you pursue criminal action, can assist you in safety planning, and can provide referrals to any of the above services. There is no cost for seeking help from an advocate.

help_guy_red_shirtHow to Help Someone who was Sexually Assaulted

  • Listen, without judging Everyone is the expert on their own life
  • Provide support, not advice. Focus on their strengths and skills. Let them make their own choices
  • Help connect them with resources Options can help someone regain their sense of empowerment
  • Respect their wishes Give them control over the next steps
  • Honor their reality A person’s gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, ability, age, and religion affect their experience.
  • Understand common reactions Loss, revenge, blaming, and guilt are all common reactions to your loved one’s assault.
  • For more information about healing from an assault or helping someone who has experienced sexual assault, please click here.