Sexual Assault (cont.)
Getting help for sexual assault
Take steps right away if you
have been assaulted:
- Get away from the attacker and find a safe place as fast as you can. Call
- Call someone you trust or a hotline, such as the National Sexual Assault
Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
- Protect any evidence. Do not clean any part of
your body or comb your hair. Do not change clothes. Try not to touch anything at
the crime scene.
- Go to your nearest hospital emergency room right away. You
need to be examined and treated for injuries you may not even know you have. Ask
to be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and for emergency
contraception to help prevent pregnancy. The hospital also can collect evidence
like hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing fiber that the attacker may have left
- Discuss filing a police report. If you're not sure whether you want to
file a report, ask hospital staff if they can collect evidence without filing a
report. It is best to collect evidence as soon as possible.
After a sexual
assault, you may need a lot of emotional support. Every woman responds
differently, but reactions can include feeling terribly shocked, confused, and
afraid. Some women experience denial or feeling emotionally numb. Whatever your
experience, reach out to people who care about you and get help from a mental
health professional. The hospital usually can put you in touch with a counselor
or support group. Even if a long time has passed since you were abused, you
still can get help.
If someone you know has been abused or assaulted you can help by listening
and offering comfort. If the person wants, you also can go along to the police
station, the hospital, or counseling sessions. Make sure the person knows the
abuse is not his or her fault, and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed.
Must Read Articles Related to Sexual Assault
Domestic violence is a well-known and often-used term. Although it may describe various violent relationships, such as child abuse, elder abuse, or abuse within...learn more >>
Emergency contraception (birth control after intercourse) is the use of a drug or device to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. Emergency contracep...learn more >>