After Sexual Assault

After sexual assault, it’s hard to know how to react. You may be physically hurt, emotionally drained, or unsure what to do next. You may be considering working with the criminal justice system, but are unsure of where to start. Learning more about what steps you can take following sexual violence can help ground you in a difficult time.

I Am a Kid and Something Happened

If someone touches you in a way that’s not okay, or shows you something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you don’t have to keep it a secret. It’s not right. And it is not your fault.

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Recovering from Sexual Violence

Recovering from sexual assault or abuse is a process, and that process looks different for everyone. It may take weeks, months, or years: there’s no timetable for healing. Here are some resources to help you navigate the process.

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Reporting and the Criminal Justice System

Did you know that many rape prosecutions end in a plea bargain? Or that a victim may not have to testify in court? Here’s everything you need to know about pursuing justice after sexual assault, from reporting processes to rape kits.

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Survivor Stories

Hear from courageous survivors about what it means to tell their story and be believed—and what it takes to continue thriving after sexual violence.

  • Steps You Can Take After Sexual Assault - It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. There is help available—you are not alone. 
  • Safety Planning - Brainstorming ways to stay safe may help reduce the risk of future harm. 
  • Receiving Medical Attention - After sexual assault, a medical exam can check for help check for injuries, even those you may not be able to see.
  • Help Someone You Care About - There are many ways that you can help a friend or family member who has been affected by sexual violence.

  • Reporting to Law Enforcement - Understanding how to report and learning more about the experience can take away some of the unknowns and help you feel more prepared.
  • What Is a Rape Kit? - During a sexual assault forensic exam, a trained healthcare professional can collect DNA evidence from your body, clothes, and other personal belongings.
  • How to Respond to a Survivor - Someone you care about had the courage to tell you what happened. How you react can have a big impact on their recovery. 

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