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RAINN: 1-800-656-HOPE

"One year ago, I locked my door and went to sleep; like we all do on any given night. Unfortunately, this night was like no other before and was one I will never be able to forget. I woke up that night to a co-worker who had undressed himself, crawled into my bed and raped me. "
Kathleen, rape survivor

Rape is a crime, talking about it isn't. SPEAK.

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If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted.

  • Go to a place of safety.

  • Call 911 and give the operator your location. Try to remain calm and listen carefully to the operator. If you need an ambulance, tell the 911 operator (response of the police department or ambulance does NOT force the victim to press charges).

  • Do NOT shower, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, comb your hair, change or destroy your clothing or straighten up the area where the assault occurred. Doing any of these actions may destroy evidence of the attack.

  • Try to remember the offender's actions and statements, if any.

At the hospital

  • A doctor will treat you for injuries, test and treat you for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, collect and document medical evidence in case you decide to prosecute. With your permission, the doctor will use a Sex Crime Evidence Collection Kit in order to document the attack. Consenting to this procedure does not obligate you to press charges, however, the kit is instrumental in collecting evidence should you decide to persecute your attacker.

  • The doctor will examine you in a private room. The police personnel will not be present during the examination.

  • Many hospitals have rape crises counselors on call. If a counselor is not available, ask the hospital personnel to contact a rape crisis program and provide you with a trained rape advocate for support and information


  • Contact someone you trust.

  • Contact a rape crisis program for support and information such as RAINN at 1-800-656-HOPE.

  • Don't blame yourself. Sexual assault is a crime punishable by law and no one provokes it. No matter what course of action you took, it was not your fault!

  • Rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse are not crimes of passion; they are crimes of violence, humiliation, anger, power and control.

  • You are NOT alone. Rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, appearance, class, or sexual orientation. Rapists choose as victims those they see as vulnerable

This document is distributed for informational use only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such. Permission is granted to reproduce this article, provided that reproduction is for nonprofit educational use and that copyright is retained in its entirety as follow:

© 2007 After Silence - A message board and chat room for rape incest, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivors.


This site is offered for support of other rape and sexual abuse survivors. It is not meant to be a substitute for any kind of professional help.
If you are in a crisis situation we urge to contact your local rape crisis center or health care professional.

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