Sexual Assault: The Facts and How to Get Help

Reviewed Jan 26, 2021

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Summary

  • Sexual assault can be verbal, visual or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.
  • Rape and sexual assault are never the victim's fault—no matter where or how it happens.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity, including rape, that you do not agree to. Also called sexual violence or abuse, sexual assault is never your fault.
 
What is rape?

The Department of Justice defines rape as "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." This legal definition is used by the federal government to collect information from local police about rape. The definition of rape may be slightly different in your community.

Rape also can happen when you cannot physically give consent, such as while you were drunk, passed out, or high. Rape can also happen when you cannot legally give consent, such as when you are underage.

What does sexual assault include?

Sexual assault can include:

  • Any type of sexual contact with someone who cannot consent, such as someone who is underage, has an intellectual disability, or is passed out
  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes

Sexual assault can also be verbal or visual. It is anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Examples can include:

  • Voyeurism, or peeping (when someone watches private sexual acts without consent)
  • Exhibitionism (when someone exposes himself or herself in public)
  • Sexual harassment or threats
  • Forcing someone to pose for sexual pictures

What does "consent" mean in sexual assault?

Consent is a clear "yes" to sexual activity. Not saying "no" does not mean you have given consent.

Your consent means:

  • You know and understand what is going on (you are not unconscious or blacked out or intellectually disabled).
  • You know what you want to do.
  • You are able to say what you want to do.
  • You are sober (not under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

Sometimes you cannot give legal consent to sexual activity or contact. For example, if you are:

  • Threatened, forced, coerced, or manipulated into agreeing
  • Not physically able to (you are drunk, high, drugged, passed out, or asleep)
  • Not mentally able to (due to illness or disability)
  • Younger than 16 (in most states) or 18 (in other states)

Remember:

  • Consent is an ongoing process, not a one-time question. If you consent to sexual activity, you can change your mind and choose to stop, even after sexual activity has started.
  • Past consent does not mean future consent. Giving consent in the past to sexual activity does not mean you have to give consent now or in the future.
  • Saying yes to a sexual activity is not consent for all types of sexual activity. If you consent to sexual activity, it is only for types of sexual activities that you are comfortable with at that time with that partner.

 What is NOT considered consent in sexual assault?

  • Silence. Just because someone does not say "no" it doesn't mean she is saying "yes."
  • Having consented before. Just because someone said "yes" in the past does not mean she is saying "yes" now. Consent must be part of every sexual activity, every time.
  • Being in a relationship. Being married, dating, or having sexual contact with someone before does not mean that there is consent now.
  • Being drunk or high.
  • Not fighting back. Not putting up a physical fight does not mean that there is consent.
  • Sexy clothing, dancing, or flirting. Only "yes" means "yes."

What is sexual coercion?

Not all sexual assault involves a physical attack. Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens after someone is pressured, tricked, or forced in a nonphysical way.

Anyone can use coercion—for example, husbands, partners, boyfriends, friends, co-workers, bosses, or dates.
 
Examples of sexual coercion

Ways someone might use sexual coercion What he or she may say
Wearing you down by asking for sex again and again, or making you feel bad, guilty, or obligated
  • "If you really loved me, you'd do it."
  • "Come on, it's my birthday."
  • "You don't know what you do to me."
 Making you feel like it's too late to say no
  • "But you've already gotten me all worked up."
  • "You can't just make a guy stop."
Telling you that not having sex will hurt your relationship 
  • "Everything's perfect. Why do you have to ruin it?"
  • "I'll break up with you if you don't have sex with me."
 Lying or threatening to spread rumors about you 
  • "Everyone thinks we already have, so you might as well."
  • "I'll just tell everyone you did it anyway."
 Making promises
  • "I'll make it worth your while."
  • "You know I have a lot of connections."
 Threatening your children or other family members
  • "I'll do this to your daughter if you don't do it with me."
 Threatening your job, home, or school career 
  • "I really respect your work here. I'd hate for something to change that."
  • "I haven't decided yet who's getting bonuses this year."
  • "Don't worry about the rent. There are other things you can do."
  • "You work so hard; it'd be a shame for you not to get an A."

How can I respond in the moment to sexual coercion?

Sexual coercion is not your fault. If you are feeling pressured to do something you don't want to do, speak up or leave the situation.

Some possible responses include:

  • "I do like you, but I'm not ready for sex."
  • "If you really care for me, you'll respect that I don't want to have sex."
  • "I don't owe you an explanation or anything at all."

Be clear and direct with the person coercing you. Tell him or her how you feel and what you do not want to do. If the other person is not listening to you, leave the situation. If you or your family is in physical danger, try to get away from the person as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
 
How can I get help after being sexually coerced?

Sexual coercion is a type of sexual assault. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673) or chat online with a trained hotline worker on the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at any time to get help.

Some sexual coercion is against the law or violates school or workplace policies. If you are younger than 18, tell a trusted adult about what happened. If you are an adult, consider talking to someone about getting help and reporting the person to the local authorities. You could talk to a counselor, the human resources department, or the local police.
 
What do I do if I've been sexually assaulted?

If you are in danger or need medical care, call 9-1-1. If you can, get away from the person who assaulted you and get to a safe place as fast as you can.

If you have been physically assaulted or raped, there are other important steps you can take right away:

  • Save everything that might have the attacker's DNA on it. As hard as it may be to not wash up, you might wash away important evidence if you do. Don't brush, comb, or clean any part of your body. Don't change clothes, if possible. Don't touch or change anything at the scene of the assault. That way the local police will have physical evidence from the person who assaulted you.
  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined and treated for injuries. You can be given medicine to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. The National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673) can help you find a hospital able to collect evidence of sexual assault. Ask for a sexual assault forensic examiner. A doctor or nurse will use a rape kit to collect evidence. This might be fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing left behind by the attacker. You do not have to decide whether to press charges while at the hospital.
    • If you think you were drugged, talk to the hospital staff about being tested for date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and other drugs.
    • The hospital staff can also connect you with the local rape crisis center. Staff there can help you make choices about reporting the sexual assault and getting help through counseling and support groups.
  • Reach out for help. Call a friend or family member you trust, or call a crisis center or hotline. Crisis centers and hotlines have trained volunteers and counselors who can help you find support and resources near you. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). If you are in the military, you may also call the DoD Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5246.
  • Report the sexual assault to the police: Call 911. If you want to talk to someone first about reporting the assault, you can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). A counselor can help you understand how to report the crime. Even though these calls are free, they may appear on your phone bill. If you think that the person who sexually assaulted you may check your phone bill, try to call from a friend's phone or a public phone.
  • Write down the details about the person who sexually assaulted you and what happened.

How can I get help after a sexual assault?

After a sexual assault, you may feel fear, shame, guilt, or shock. These feelings are normal. But sexual assault is never your fault. It may be frightening to think about talking about the assault, but it is important to get help. You can call these organizations any time, day or night. The calls are free and confidential:

Each state and territory has organizations and hotlines to help people who have been sexually assaulted.

How can I help someone who has been sexually assaulted?

You can help a friend or family member who has been sexually assaulted by listening, offering comfort, and not judging. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry, confused, or ashamed—or any combination of feelings.

Ask your loved one if she would like you to go with her to the hospital or to counseling. If she decides to report the crime to the police, ask if she would like you to go with her. Let her know that professional help is available. Let her know about the hotlines to call and talk to someone.

Source: Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/sexual-assault.html#

Summary

  • Sexual assault can be verbal, visual or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.
  • Rape and sexual assault are never the victim's fault—no matter where or how it happens.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity, including rape, that you do not agree to. Also called sexual violence or abuse, sexual assault is never your fault.
 
What is rape?

The Department of Justice defines rape as "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." This legal definition is used by the federal government to collect information from local police about rape. The definition of rape may be slightly different in your community.

Rape also can happen when you cannot physically give consent, such as while you were drunk, passed out, or high. Rape can also happen when you cannot legally give consent, such as when you are underage.

What does sexual assault include?

Sexual assault can include:

  • Any type of sexual contact with someone who cannot consent, such as someone who is underage, has an intellectual disability, or is passed out
  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes

Sexual assault can also be verbal or visual. It is anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Examples can include:

  • Voyeurism, or peeping (when someone watches private sexual acts without consent)
  • Exhibitionism (when someone exposes himself or herself in public)
  • Sexual harassment or threats
  • Forcing someone to pose for sexual pictures

What does "consent" mean in sexual assault?

Consent is a clear "yes" to sexual activity. Not saying "no" does not mean you have given consent.

Your consent means:

  • You know and understand what is going on (you are not unconscious or blacked out or intellectually disabled).
  • You know what you want to do.
  • You are able to say what you want to do.
  • You are sober (not under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

Sometimes you cannot give legal consent to sexual activity or contact. For example, if you are:

  • Threatened, forced, coerced, or manipulated into agreeing
  • Not physically able to (you are drunk, high, drugged, passed out, or asleep)
  • Not mentally able to (due to illness or disability)
  • Younger than 16 (in most states) or 18 (in other states)

Remember:

  • Consent is an ongoing process, not a one-time question. If you consent to sexual activity, you can change your mind and choose to stop, even after sexual activity has started.
  • Past consent does not mean future consent. Giving consent in the past to sexual activity does not mean you have to give consent now or in the future.
  • Saying yes to a sexual activity is not consent for all types of sexual activity. If you consent to sexual activity, it is only for types of sexual activities that you are comfortable with at that time with that partner.

 What is NOT considered consent in sexual assault?

  • Silence. Just because someone does not say "no" it doesn't mean she is saying "yes."
  • Having consented before. Just because someone said "yes" in the past does not mean she is saying "yes" now. Consent must be part of every sexual activity, every time.
  • Being in a relationship. Being married, dating, or having sexual contact with someone before does not mean that there is consent now.
  • Being drunk or high.
  • Not fighting back. Not putting up a physical fight does not mean that there is consent.
  • Sexy clothing, dancing, or flirting. Only "yes" means "yes."

What is sexual coercion?

Not all sexual assault involves a physical attack. Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens after someone is pressured, tricked, or forced in a nonphysical way.

Anyone can use coercion—for example, husbands, partners, boyfriends, friends, co-workers, bosses, or dates.
 
Examples of sexual coercion

Ways someone might use sexual coercion What he or she may say
Wearing you down by asking for sex again and again, or making you feel bad, guilty, or obligated
  • "If you really loved me, you'd do it."
  • "Come on, it's my birthday."
  • "You don't know what you do to me."
 Making you feel like it's too late to say no
  • "But you've already gotten me all worked up."
  • "You can't just make a guy stop."
Telling you that not having sex will hurt your relationship 
  • "Everything's perfect. Why do you have to ruin it?"
  • "I'll break up with you if you don't have sex with me."
 Lying or threatening to spread rumors about you 
  • "Everyone thinks we already have, so you might as well."
  • "I'll just tell everyone you did it anyway."
 Making promises
  • "I'll make it worth your while."
  • "You know I have a lot of connections."
 Threatening your children or other family members
  • "I'll do this to your daughter if you don't do it with me."
 Threatening your job, home, or school career 
  • "I really respect your work here. I'd hate for something to change that."
  • "I haven't decided yet who's getting bonuses this year."
  • "Don't worry about the rent. There are other things you can do."
  • "You work so hard; it'd be a shame for you not to get an A."

How can I respond in the moment to sexual coercion?

Sexual coercion is not your fault. If you are feeling pressured to do something you don't want to do, speak up or leave the situation.

Some possible responses include:

  • "I do like you, but I'm not ready for sex."
  • "If you really care for me, you'll respect that I don't want to have sex."
  • "I don't owe you an explanation or anything at all."

Be clear and direct with the person coercing you. Tell him or her how you feel and what you do not want to do. If the other person is not listening to you, leave the situation. If you or your family is in physical danger, try to get away from the person as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
 
How can I get help after being sexually coerced?

Sexual coercion is a type of sexual assault. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673) or chat online with a trained hotline worker on the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at any time to get help.

Some sexual coercion is against the law or violates school or workplace policies. If you are younger than 18, tell a trusted adult about what happened. If you are an adult, consider talking to someone about getting help and reporting the person to the local authorities. You could talk to a counselor, the human resources department, or the local police.
 
What do I do if I've been sexually assaulted?

If you are in danger or need medical care, call 9-1-1. If you can, get away from the person who assaulted you and get to a safe place as fast as you can.

If you have been physically assaulted or raped, there are other important steps you can take right away:

  • Save everything that might have the attacker's DNA on it. As hard as it may be to not wash up, you might wash away important evidence if you do. Don't brush, comb, or clean any part of your body. Don't change clothes, if possible. Don't touch or change anything at the scene of the assault. That way the local police will have physical evidence from the person who assaulted you.
  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined and treated for injuries. You can be given medicine to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. The National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673) can help you find a hospital able to collect evidence of sexual assault. Ask for a sexual assault forensic examiner. A doctor or nurse will use a rape kit to collect evidence. This might be fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing left behind by the attacker. You do not have to decide whether to press charges while at the hospital.
    • If you think you were drugged, talk to the hospital staff about being tested for date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and other drugs.
    • The hospital staff can also connect you with the local rape crisis center. Staff there can help you make choices about reporting the sexual assault and getting help through counseling and support groups.
  • Reach out for help. Call a friend or family member you trust, or call a crisis center or hotline. Crisis centers and hotlines have trained volunteers and counselors who can help you find support and resources near you. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). If you are in the military, you may also call the DoD Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5246.
  • Report the sexual assault to the police: Call 911. If you want to talk to someone first about reporting the assault, you can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). A counselor can help you understand how to report the crime. Even though these calls are free, they may appear on your phone bill. If you think that the person who sexually assaulted you may check your phone bill, try to call from a friend's phone or a public phone.
  • Write down the details about the person who sexually assaulted you and what happened.

How can I get help after a sexual assault?

After a sexual assault, you may feel fear, shame, guilt, or shock. These feelings are normal. But sexual assault is never your fault. It may be frightening to think about talking about the assault, but it is important to get help. You can call these organizations any time, day or night. The calls are free and confidential:

Each state and territory has organizations and hotlines to help people who have been sexually assaulted.

How can I help someone who has been sexually assaulted?

You can help a friend or family member who has been sexually assaulted by listening, offering comfort, and not judging. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry, confused, or ashamed—or any combination of feelings.

Ask your loved one if she would like you to go with her to the hospital or to counseling. If she decides to report the crime to the police, ask if she would like you to go with her. Let her know that professional help is available. Let her know about the hotlines to call and talk to someone.

Source: Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/sexual-assault.html#

Summary

  • Sexual assault can be verbal, visual or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.
  • Rape and sexual assault are never the victim's fault—no matter where or how it happens.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity, including rape, that you do not agree to. Also called sexual violence or abuse, sexual assault is never your fault.
 
What is rape?

The Department of Justice defines rape as "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." This legal definition is used by the federal government to collect information from local police about rape. The definition of rape may be slightly different in your community.

Rape also can happen when you cannot physically give consent, such as while you were drunk, passed out, or high. Rape can also happen when you cannot legally give consent, such as when you are underage.

What does sexual assault include?

Sexual assault can include:

  • Any type of sexual contact with someone who cannot consent, such as someone who is underage, has an intellectual disability, or is passed out
  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes

Sexual assault can also be verbal or visual. It is anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Examples can include:

  • Voyeurism, or peeping (when someone watches private sexual acts without consent)
  • Exhibitionism (when someone exposes himself or herself in public)
  • Sexual harassment or threats
  • Forcing someone to pose for sexual pictures

What does "consent" mean in sexual assault?

Consent is a clear "yes" to sexual activity. Not saying "no" does not mean you have given consent.

Your consent means:

  • You know and understand what is going on (you are not unconscious or blacked out or intellectually disabled).
  • You know what you want to do.
  • You are able to say what you want to do.
  • You are sober (not under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

Sometimes you cannot give legal consent to sexual activity or contact. For example, if you are:

  • Threatened, forced, coerced, or manipulated into agreeing
  • Not physically able to (you are drunk, high, drugged, passed out, or asleep)
  • Not mentally able to (due to illness or disability)
  • Younger than 16 (in most states) or 18 (in other states)

Remember:

  • Consent is an ongoing process, not a one-time question. If you consent to sexual activity, you can change your mind and choose to stop, even after sexual activity has started.
  • Past consent does not mean future consent. Giving consent in the past to sexual activity does not mean you have to give consent now or in the future.
  • Saying yes to a sexual activity is not consent for all types of sexual activity. If you consent to sexual activity, it is only for types of sexual activities that you are comfortable with at that time with that partner.

 What is NOT considered consent in sexual assault?

  • Silence. Just because someone does not say "no" it doesn't mean she is saying "yes."
  • Having consented before. Just because someone said "yes" in the past does not mean she is saying "yes" now. Consent must be part of every sexual activity, every time.
  • Being in a relationship. Being married, dating, or having sexual contact with someone before does not mean that there is consent now.
  • Being drunk or high.
  • Not fighting back. Not putting up a physical fight does not mean that there is consent.
  • Sexy clothing, dancing, or flirting. Only "yes" means "yes."

What is sexual coercion?

Not all sexual assault involves a physical attack. Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens after someone is pressured, tricked, or forced in a nonphysical way.

Anyone can use coercion—for example, husbands, partners, boyfriends, friends, co-workers, bosses, or dates.
 
Examples of sexual coercion

Ways someone might use sexual coercion What he or she may say
Wearing you down by asking for sex again and again, or making you feel bad, guilty, or obligated
  • "If you really loved me, you'd do it."
  • "Come on, it's my birthday."
  • "You don't know what you do to me."
 Making you feel like it's too late to say no
  • "But you've already gotten me all worked up."
  • "You can't just make a guy stop."
Telling you that not having sex will hurt your relationship 
  • "Everything's perfect. Why do you have to ruin it?"
  • "I'll break up with you if you don't have sex with me."
 Lying or threatening to spread rumors about you 
  • "Everyone thinks we already have, so you might as well."
  • "I'll just tell everyone you did it anyway."
 Making promises
  • "I'll make it worth your while."
  • "You know I have a lot of connections."
 Threatening your children or other family members
  • "I'll do this to your daughter if you don't do it with me."
 Threatening your job, home, or school career 
  • "I really respect your work here. I'd hate for something to change that."
  • "I haven't decided yet who's getting bonuses this year."
  • "Don't worry about the rent. There are other things you can do."
  • "You work so hard; it'd be a shame for you not to get an A."

How can I respond in the moment to sexual coercion?

Sexual coercion is not your fault. If you are feeling pressured to do something you don't want to do, speak up or leave the situation.

Some possible responses include:

  • "I do like you, but I'm not ready for sex."
  • "If you really care for me, you'll respect that I don't want to have sex."
  • "I don't owe you an explanation or anything at all."

Be clear and direct with the person coercing you. Tell him or her how you feel and what you do not want to do. If the other person is not listening to you, leave the situation. If you or your family is in physical danger, try to get away from the person as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
 
How can I get help after being sexually coerced?

Sexual coercion is a type of sexual assault. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673) or chat online with a trained hotline worker on the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at any time to get help.

Some sexual coercion is against the law or violates school or workplace policies. If you are younger than 18, tell a trusted adult about what happened. If you are an adult, consider talking to someone about getting help and reporting the person to the local authorities. You could talk to a counselor, the human resources department, or the local police.
 
What do I do if I've been sexually assaulted?

If you are in danger or need medical care, call 9-1-1. If you can, get away from the person who assaulted you and get to a safe place as fast as you can.

If you have been physically assaulted or raped, there are other important steps you can take right away:

  • Save everything that might have the attacker's DNA on it. As hard as it may be to not wash up, you might wash away important evidence if you do. Don't brush, comb, or clean any part of your body. Don't change clothes, if possible. Don't touch or change anything at the scene of the assault. That way the local police will have physical evidence from the person who assaulted you.
  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined and treated for injuries. You can be given medicine to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. The National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673) can help you find a hospital able to collect evidence of sexual assault. Ask for a sexual assault forensic examiner. A doctor or nurse will use a rape kit to collect evidence. This might be fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing left behind by the attacker. You do not have to decide whether to press charges while at the hospital.
    • If you think you were drugged, talk to the hospital staff about being tested for date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and other drugs.
    • The hospital staff can also connect you with the local rape crisis center. Staff there can help you make choices about reporting the sexual assault and getting help through counseling and support groups.
  • Reach out for help. Call a friend or family member you trust, or call a crisis center or hotline. Crisis centers and hotlines have trained volunteers and counselors who can help you find support and resources near you. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). If you are in the military, you may also call the DoD Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5246.
  • Report the sexual assault to the police: Call 911. If you want to talk to someone first about reporting the assault, you can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673). A counselor can help you understand how to report the crime. Even though these calls are free, they may appear on your phone bill. If you think that the person who sexually assaulted you may check your phone bill, try to call from a friend's phone or a public phone.
  • Write down the details about the person who sexually assaulted you and what happened.

How can I get help after a sexual assault?

After a sexual assault, you may feel fear, shame, guilt, or shock. These feelings are normal. But sexual assault is never your fault. It may be frightening to think about talking about the assault, but it is important to get help. You can call these organizations any time, day or night. The calls are free and confidential:

Each state and territory has organizations and hotlines to help people who have been sexually assaulted.

How can I help someone who has been sexually assaulted?

You can help a friend or family member who has been sexually assaulted by listening, offering comfort, and not judging. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry, confused, or ashamed—or any combination of feelings.

Ask your loved one if she would like you to go with her to the hospital or to counseling. If she decides to report the crime to the police, ask if she would like you to go with her. Let her know that professional help is available. Let her know about the hotlines to call and talk to someone.

Source: Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/sexual-assault.html#

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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