If you have recently been sexually assaulted follow these
Get to a safe place.
Don't shower, drink, eat or change your clothes. These activities
may destroy evidence that could assist in prosecution if you choose
to file a police report.
Seek medical attention. You have two options:
Make a police report.
- Hospital Emergency Departments: they can perform a Sexual
Assault Evidence Collection Examination up to 72 hours following an
During this exam, a doctor or nurse will examine you for injuries
that may or may not be visible to you. They will offer you
emergency contraception and medications that may help to prevent
contraction of sexually transmitted diseases and tests for sexually
transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. They will also collect and
preserve evidence that can assist in taking legal action if you
chose to report this assault to the police. If you are unsure about
whether you want to make a police report, you do not have to speak
to the police. The evidence collected will be held for 60 days
while you decide if you would like to make a report.
We're here to help you. If you go to the hospital following a
sexual assault, you have the right to have a Sexual Assault Crisis
Counselor speak to you at the hospital and/or be present to provide
support to you during the exam. To request a counselor, you can ask
the hospital or police to contact The Center's hotline at (203)
329-2929 to speak to a counselor and/or request accompaniment to
- Physician's office, Clinic or Health Departments: If you do not
want to go to the hospital for an Evidence Collection Exam, or it
has been more than 72 hours since the assault, you can still go to
a physician's office or your local Planned Parenthood to be
examined for injuries, request emergency contraception and to be
tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
It is your decision whether to report a sexual assault to the
police. If you choose to report, a Sexual Assault Crisis Counselor
is available 24-hours a day to meet you at the police station to
provide you with information and support while you are making a
statement. The Center's counselors also offer legal/court advocacy
throughout the legal process.
Seek support for yourself:
Experiencing a sexual assault can affect survivors in many
different ways. You may find yourself feeling or behaving very
differently than usual. Many survivors experience: nightmares,
flashbacks, anger, guilt, difficulty sleeping, fear, avoidance of
sexual contact, difficulty concentrating.
The Center provides confidential support services for survivors of
all forms of sexual violence. You can call
our 24-hour hotline
to speak to a counselor for information,
referrals, telephone counseling or accompaniment to the hospital or
police station. Individual counseling sessions are also
And, as the victim of a crime in Connecticut, you may be eligible
for victim's compensation benefits through the Office of Victim's
Services. These benefits may reimburse victims or their legal
guardians for counseling, medical or other expenses that are the
direct result of a sexual assault. For more information, including
eligibility requirements, please contact OVS at (860) 747-4501 or
call The Center for application materials and assistance in filing
Don't go it alone. We're here. Contact The Center today
Discovering your child has been sexually abused is a difficult and
confusing time for parents. You may find yourself feeling anger,
guilt, sadness, frustration or confusion. These feelings are
normal. As a parent of a child who has been sexually abused, you
may feel as if your life has been turned upside down by what has
happened to your child.
How Can I Help My Child?
Believe your child!
It is very important for your child to know that you support them,
even though they may be saying things that are hard to accept.
Children very rarely make up stories of abuse.
Reassure your child that he/she is safe.
Your child will need to hear you say, "It wasn't your fault" so
they can understand that the abuse did not happen because he/she
was bad and that they are not to blame.
Try to remain calm and even-tempered around your child.
It is normal for you to feel anger about what has happened,
however try not to show anger around your child because it may
confuse him/her. When children see their parents expressing anger,
they may feel like you are angry with them.
Let your child know that things will get better.
Return to your family's normal routine as soon as possible.
Follow your child's lead.
Do not push them to talk or ask leading questions. Just listen and
support when and if your child wants to talk about the abuse.
Understand that some victims of sexual assault are sensitive to
touch (even touches like hugs that we may think of as positive). It
is important to respect that your child may not want to be touched
by anyone. Ask if it is okay before hugging or kissing your
Remember that sexual abuse can affect the entire family.
Whether siblings know about the abuse or not, chances are they
have noticed changes in the family and may need some help
understanding what is happening in their family. Many siblings of
children who have been abused do not understand why their brother
or sister is suddenly getting extra attention from everyone and may
Get support for yourself.
It is important that you have support in order to be strong for
your children. The Center offers free and confidential individual
counseling sessions for parents. In these sessions counselors can
help you to talk about your own feelings as well as provide you
with an understanding of the issue of sexual abuse and valuable
information on how to help your child. These services can also help
you to see that you are not alone in dealing with this problem and
that things will get better.
Don't go it alone. We're here. Contact The Center today.
Family & Friends
If someone you care about has been sexually assaulted, you may be
unsure about how to help him/her. Below are some suggestions on how
to help your loved one.
Don't pressure him/her to talk about the assault.
Let the survivor know you are available to listen if they want to
talk but respect their wishes if they don't want to. Many survivors
of sexual assault are very sensitive to touch. Always ask if it is
okay to give them a hug or other touch, and be aware of any verbal
or non-verbal signals they may be giving you that would indicate
when they are uncomfortable being touched.
Respect their privacy.
Your loved one may not want others to know about what happened to
them. Always ask their permission before telling others that they
Remember that sexual assault is never the victim's fault.
Do not place blame on the victim for what happened to them, no
matter what they were wearing or doing at the time of the assault.
The responsibility for the assault always lies with the
Sometimes individuals unintentionally place blame or guilt on a
Asking if they fought back or yelled for help may make the
survivor feel blamed for the assault. Most victims are too scared
or taken by surprise to yell or fight when confronted by a
perpetrator. It is impossible to judge their actions in that
situation because no one knows what they would do in their place.
He/she did whatever they had to do to survive.
Understand that sexual assault is a traumatic experience.
It changes the way survivors think, feel and behave. All of these
changes won't last forever. Be patient while he/she heals from this
Don't take it personally.
Survivors sometimes express anger towards those closest to them
because they are unable to express the anger they are feeling
towards the perpetrator or themselves.
Allow the survivor to make his/her own decisions.
Sexual assault makes people feel very out of control. It is
important for the survivor to feel in control after the assault.
Choices such as whether to report to the police, seeking counseling
or whom to tell about the assault should be left up to the
survivor. Support them in whatever decisions they make.
Don't pressure the survivor for sexual contact.
It may take some time for your loved one to feel comfortable in
sexual situations again.
Encourage the survivor to seek counseling.
It may be very helpful. However, don't force them to seek help
before they are ready to do so. It may take some time before they
feel ready to talk about what has happened to them.
Consider getting support for yourself.
You have also been affected by what has happened to the person you
Counseling and support services are also available for partners,
family and friends of survivors. A counselor can also give you
information on how to help your loved one.
Don't go it alone. We're here. Contact The Center today.