What You Can Do

If someone tells you about a sexual assault or interpersonal violence:

  • Listen and don’t form opinions.
  • Ensure that the victim/survivor is safe!
  • Don’t judge the severity of the situation based on the victim/survivor’s response to it.
  • Empower the victim/survivor to make his/her own decisions.
  • Trust the victim/survivor’s word and help him/her.
  • Tell the victim/survivor that you believe him/her.
  • Let the victim/survivor know that he/she is not alone.

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What to do if you are sexually assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • If you choose to report the crime, notify the police immediately. Call a friend, a family member, or someone else you trust who can be with you and give you support.
  • Whether or not you choose to report the sexual assault to the police, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel you have been seriously injured. A medical exam is important to check for sexually transmitted diseases or other infection/injuries and for pregnancy resulting from the sexual assault.
  • Having a medical exam is also a way for you to preserve physical   evidence of a sexual assault. Medical evidence needs to be collected within 72 hours of an assault in case you decide later to pursue a police complaint.
  • Preserve all physical evidence of the assault.
  • If you suspect that you may have been given a “rape drug,” ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine   sample. Drugs, such as Rohypnol and GHB, are more likely to be   detected in urine than in blood.
  • Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a description of the assailant.
  • Get information whenever you have questions or concerns. After a sexual assault, you have a lot of choices and decisions to make – e.g., about getting medical care, making a police report, and telling other people. See Resources »
  • Talk with a counselor who is trained to assist sexual assault victims. Counseling can help you learn how to cope with the emotional and physical impacts of the assault. Call the Sexual Assault Crisis Service Statewide 24-hour toll free HOTLINE (1-888-999-5545; 1-888-568-8332 Espanol)

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