What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
- Find a safe location away from the perpetrator. Ask a trusted friend to be with you for moral support.
- Know that what happened was not your fault.
- Preserve all evidence of the attack.
- Do not bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, eat, or smoke.
- If you are still in the location at which the crime occurred, do not clean or straighten up or remove anything.
- Write down all the details you can recall about the attack and the perpetrator.
- Report the attack to law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.)
- If you want more information, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE or online.rainn.org). A counselor can help you understand the reporting process.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (women may also be at risk for pregnancy).
- To find a local hospital or healthcare facility that is equipped to collect forensic evidence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE). The hotline will connect you to your local crisis center, which can provide information on the nearest medical facility, and in some instances, send an advocate to accompany you through the evidence collection process.
- Ask the health care professional to conduct a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE).
- If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected to preserve evidence.
- Recognize that healing from an attack takes time. Give yourself the time you need and know that it is never too late to get help.
- For free, confidential help 24/7, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE or online.rainn.org).
What should I do if I am a victim of incest?