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Sexual Assault
& Crime Victim Support

Sexual Violence Happens

Sexual assault and rape are never a victim's fault
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One in five women in the United States experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime.

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Nationally, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.

About Sexual Violence

And who it affects

Sexual violence happens. It happens in every community and to anyone. It affects people of all ages, races, and genders.

Sexual Violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact. This includes words and actions of a sexual nature against a person's will and without their consent. A person may use force, threats, manipulation, or coercion to commit sexual violence.

Forms of sexual violence include:

  • Rape or sexual assault

  • Child sexual assault

  • Sexual assault by a person's spouse or partner

  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching

  • Sexual harassment

  • Sexual exploitation and trafficking

  • Exposing one's genitals to others without consent

  • Masturbating in public

  • Watching someone engage in private acts without their knowledge or permission

  • Nonconsensual image sharing

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Break the Silence

Speak out against rape & abuse

63%

of sexual assaults are not reported

88%

of child sexual abuse cases are not reported

Rape is often not reported or convicted

There are numerous reasons a person may choose not to report to law enforcement or tell anyone about a victimization they experienced. Some of the most common include:

  • a fear of not being believed

  • being afraid of retaliation

  • shame or fear of being blamed

  • pressure from others

  • distrust towards law enforcement

  • a desire to protect the attacker for other reasons

Assistance is Available

Our REACH Center is here to help

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24hr Support Helpline

Call our REACH Center helpline anytime, 24 hours a day. Trained staff provide crisis counseling and support services.

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After Sexual Assault

Connecting with support can be extremely important after sexual assault. Call our REACH Center for support. Click to find out what steps you should take.

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Help Support Others

Domestic Violence, Crime, and Assault Victims need support. Learn ways you can help start a conversation and support someone you care about.

Effects of Sexual Violence

The impact on mental health

In addition to the physical effects sexual violence impacts on the body, there are also severe psychological and emotional effects.

These effects aren't always easy to deal with. Healing is a process that takes time, and with the right help and support they can be managed.

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3 most common impacts

Depression

One of the most common forms of emotional and psychological reaction that victims of rape and sexual assault can experience is depression.

Flashbacks

During a flashback, memories of past traumas feel as if they are taking place in the current moment.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

After a traumatic event, it is typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards.

Additional effects to mental health

Self-Harm

Deliberate self-harm, or self-injury, is when a person inflicts physical harm on himself or herself. This can include cutting, scratching skin, pulling out hair, or other means of self-injury.

Substance Abuse

Substances can be a dangerous way to cope with the trauma. Utilizing substances to temporarily forget, numb the emotional pain, or find relief can have other harmful effects on physical and mental wellbeing.

Suicide

Suicide is preventable and suicidal thoughts aren't permanent. If you are thinking about suicide, there are resources to give you the support you need through this tough time.

Sleep Disorders

Symptoms of sleep disorders can include trouble falling or staying asleep, sleeping at unusual times of day, or sleeping for longer or shorter than usual.

Dissociation

Dissociation is one of the many defense mechanisms the brain can use to cope with the trauma of sexual violence.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense fear and anxiety that happens in situations when there may be no immediate danger that tends to affect people who have experienced trauma, abuse, or high levels of stress.

After Sexual Assault

What you need to know

If you're a victim of sexual assault, it's hard to know how to react. You may be physically hurt and emotionally drained. It's hard to know what to do next, where to go, or who you can trust.

Learning what steps you can take following sexual violence can help find your footing in a difficult time.

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6 things to do after sexual assault

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Ensure your own safety

After the experience of sexual trauma, the first and most important thing to do is ensure your own safety and wellbeing.

The immediate aftermath of an assault leaves most people in shock, derealization, and a sense of being overwhelmed. Seek what coping mechanisms help you in the face of major stressors - it may be calling your closest friend, trusted family member to come stay with you or getting in bed under layers of blankets - whatever helps you feel safer.

Supporting Others

How you can help

It's not always easy to know what to say when someone tells you they've been sexually assaulted, especially if they're a friend or family member.

There's no normal or "right" way to react when you find out that someone you care about has survived an act of sexual violence. There are many ways you can help a friend or family member who has been affected, and it may be just as simple as being there for them.

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Ways to be supportive through the healing process

Tips for Talking with Survivors

Sounds simple, right? Now imagine it's your sister telling you your father did something, or your boyfriend. The act is something difficult to comprehend at first and your initial reaction may be denial. The best thing you can do is to believe them.

I believe you.

It can be extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and share their story. They may feel ashamed, concerned about what others may think, believe, or that they may be blamed. It takes courage - recognize their strength.

It took a lot of courage to tell me about this.

Survivors may blame themselves, especially if they know the perpetrator personally. Remind the survivor that they are not to blame and they didn't do anything to deserve this. They may even need to hear this more than once.

It's not your fault.

Let the survivor know that you are there for them and willing to listen to their story if they are comfortable sharing it. Assess if there are people in their life they feel comfortable going to. Remind them there are support services available to assist them as they heal.

You are not alone. I care about you and I'm here.

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Learn more about our REACH Center Services

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Learn more about our Child Advocacy Services

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