If you are a victim of sexual violence, first realize whatever you did to survive was the right thing, second understand you did nothing to deserve to be raped. It was not your fault!
What To Do:
- Go to a safe place: Contact a friend, relative, neighbor, teacher, counselor, etc. Do not feel that you are alone; there are people who can give you the emotional support you need.
- Consider reporting the attack to the police regardless of whether you plan to file charges or not. Rarely do rapists attack only one person; they may get away with it and continue to do it. By reporting now, you will have the opportunity to press charges at a later time.
- Seek medical attention: DO NOT SHOWER OR CLEAN UP. As soon as possible, go to a hospital or health center for an examination and treatment of possible venereal disease and pregnancy. You may have internal injuries of which you are unaware.
- Contact your local rape crisis center: You have been through a traumatic event. Most areas have a local center that can provide you with support and assistance. Getting help early can help you begin to deal with the emotional and physical pain of the assault. Find a Rape Crisis Center on our site, or call 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).
You will probably feel a range of emotions that might include:
- Loss of control/Powerlessness
- Concern for the rapist
- Wonder - Why me?
- Emotional Shock
- Eating disorders
You may also suffer from Rape Trauma Syndrome. Learning more about the stages of this syndrome can help you cope with your assault.