What to do if you are a victim?

Working to end violence


  • Try to get to a place where you are safe.
  • Reach out for support. Call someone you trust, like a friend or family member.
  • You are not alone; there are people who can give you the support you need.
  • Call our Hotline at 203.731.5206. A counselor/advocate is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and offer support, as well as to provide you with information and resources to help you best decide what to do next. All services are free and confidential.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical care is important to address any injuries you may have and to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. A counselor/advocate can accompany you to a doctor or hospital.
  • Most importantly, know that assault is not your fault.

You have the right to…

  • Be treated with respect and dignity.
  • Privacy. That means you can refuse to answer any questions about the sexual assault, your sexual orientation, your sexual history, your medical history (including HIV status), and your mental health history.
  • Have your conversations with a sexual assault counselor/advocate remain confidential.
  • Decide whether or not you want to report the assault to the police.
  • Not be judged based on your race, age, class, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Have a sexual assault counselor/advocate accompany you to medical, law enforcement and legal proceedings.
  • Request that someone you are comfortable with stay with you in the examination room.
  • Ask questions and get answers regarding any tests, exams, medications, treatments, or police reports.
  • Be considered a victim/survivor of sexual assault, regardless of the offender’s relationship to you.

If you are considering filing a police report…

  • Try not to bathe, shower, change clothes, eat, drink, smoke, gargle, or urinate prior to the exam.
  • Seek medical attention for an exam and evidence collection as soon as possible after the assault.
  • Bring a change of clothes with you.
  • You have the right to have a sexual assault counselor/advocate with you during your medical exam.
  • Reporting to the police is your choice.

As a victim/survivor of sexual assault, you may have some of the following feelings…

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Loss of control
  • Powerlessness
  • Embarrassment
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Denial
  • Shame
  • Disbelief
  • Self-blame
  • Emotional shock

The victim/survivor may experience some or all of these feelings. These feelings can change or they may start to feel them days, weeks or years later. They may not remember exactly what happened to them. This is natural and every victim/survivor of sexual assault responds differently.


Whether you are a victim/survivor or someone who cares about one, call us, we can help! 203.731.5206