What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

RSVP 24 Hour Hotline: 706-542-SAFE

Sexual assault can happen to ANYONE, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, ability, religion, or education level. There are actions we can take to reduce the risk of experiencing sexual assault, but the only person who can stop sexual assault completely is the perpetrator.

Know that it is NOT your fault. You may be replaying the situation over and over in your mind, asking yourself what you could or should have done differently. But remember, sexual violence is an act of power, and you are not responsible for another person’s choices and actions! You did what you needed to do to survive. Nothing you did caused the violence!

First Steps to Consider:

  • Get to a safe place
  • Don’t shower or wash clothing
  • Go to a nearby hospital or medical center
  • Tell a trusted person about the incident
  • Contact the Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention office: Caron Hope, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Advocate / 706-542-7233 (SAFE) / Health Promotion Department, University Health Center, 55 Carlton St.

Support During the Healing Process

As a result of Sexual violence, in any form, you may be feeling as though your life is chaotic or out of control. Depression, fear or anxiety is normal and can surface days, weeks, months or even years after the incident.

Remember that it is a time to take special care of yourself. If you have never talked about what happened with anyone, you may decide that now is a good time to do so. Healing from abuse can be a process, and RSVP can be a source of support in many ways:

  • Emotional Support to discuss all such incidents and concerns, examine potential on- and off-campus Safety Planning and options, and above all, provide ongoing non-judgmental support and encouragement.
  • Coordination for Medical Services, including sexual assault exams, mental health services, and domestic violence and local crisis centers.
  • RSVP also offers Legal Advocacy, accompaniment to the police or law enforcement or Equal Opportunity Office (if you want to make a report)
  • Academic Assistance if a student is forced to miss classes or other coursework as a result of the incident.

What Happened Was Not Your Fault

Rape, harassment, relationship abuse, and other forms of sexual abuse are crimes. They are motivated by someone else’s desire to control, humiliate and harm. No matter when, where or how it happened, sexual abuse is never a victim or survivor’s fault. Only the perpetrator could have prevented what occurred.

Relationship and sexual abuse can happen to ANYONE. It impacts people across all boundaries; regardless of one’s gender identity, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, race, ability level, education level, or sexual orientation.