Sexual assault and abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, including:
- inappropriate touching
- vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
- sexual intercourse that you say no to
- attempted rape
- child molestation
Get Help for Sexual Assault
Take steps right away if you’ve been sexually assaulted:
1) Get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can. Then call 911 or the police.
2) Call a friend or family member you trust. You also can call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.
3) Do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes if possible, so the hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
4) Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexual transmitted diseases (STD) or pregnancy. The doctor will collect evidence using a rape kit for fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
5) You or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room to file a report.
6) Ask the hospital staff about possible support groups you can attend right away.
You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital, or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault, and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-799-SAFE (7233), 800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish speakers are available. When you call, you will first hear a recording and may have to hold. Hotline staff offer crisis intervention and referrals. If requested, they connect women to shelters and can send out written information. For more information, visit their website at http://www.ndvh.org.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-656-4673. When you call, you will hear a menu and can choose #1 to talk to a counselor. You will then be connected to a counselor in your area who can help you. For more information, visit their website at http://www.rainn.org.