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Need help and support?

If you or someone you know is in need of help after sexual violence, contact your local sexual violence program (sometimes referred to as a rape crisis center)

Your local program provides free and confidential support and advocacy. Here are several of the services they may offer to you:

  • Speak with a trained rape crisis counselor 24/7—they are there to listen and offer information
  • Meet you at a hospital or medical center so that you can receive medical attention and if you choose to have an evidence collection exam
  • Assist you with filing for a restraining order, if you choose to do so
  • Talk with you about what you can do to feel safer after an assault
  • Connect you with counseling or legal services

Your local program is there to provide you important information and resources. It is a place for you to talk about how you feel and what you need to begin to heal.

You Are Not Alone

You are not alone in wanting to create a safer environment for yourself, your family, and your community. You can start by learning about the warning signs, reaching out to talk to someone, and finding out about appropriate intervention and educational services for either sexual or domestic violence offenders/perpetrators.

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"I spoke out to put a face to the issue for the millions of women, men and children who suffer in silence and to say that you are not alone. Help is available." ~ Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor (Photo by Christopher Mason)

For Victims and Survivors of Sexual Violence

Sexual violence or sexual assault is any unwanted sexual attention, contact, or activity. Sexual violence violates a person’s trust, autonomy, and feeling of safety.

Several terms such as sexual assault, rape, drug or alcohol facilitated sexual assault, date rape have both legal and societal meanings.

You May Feel

A wide range of emotions are normal reactions to being sexually assaulted. Talking with a trained advocate and other survivors of sexual violence can really make a difference.

  • The sense of shame and guilt that can often accompany sexual violence can be the strongest and most difficult feelings to move through.
  • You may also feel a profound sense of violation, intrusion, shakiness, and vulnerability.
  • You may be afraid of how friends, family, co-workers, or your partner will respond to your experience
  • You may feel self-protective and worried about whether reaching out for help will help or harm you.

Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. Whether you experienced an assault recently or many years ago, you have the right to safety and freedom from violence. You also have the right to support and assistance.

Immediate Steps After A Sexual Assault

Your local rape crisis center can assist you with crisis counseling and provide helpful information about steps you can take immediately after a sexual assault.  An advocate can answer questions, provide emotional support, and try to arrange for someone to meet you at the hospital or with law enforcement. We've also prepared a short list of steps for you to consider to help begin your process toward safety and justice.

Help is Available


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