Dealing with harassment and violence can be hard, so it can be useful to talk to someone who can help you cope with the impact of what happened. Here are a few ideas for people you may want to reach out to:
Connecting with an advocate
You can connect with an advocate who is trained to support survivors of sexual and dating violence. An advocate can help you identify abusive behavior, develop a safety plan, and refer you to other services. If you want to leave an abusive relationship, an advocate can help you plan the best ways to do so while staying safe. Often rape crisis centers have advocates who can accompany you to the hospital, police, or school reporting meetings. They are familiar with the processes and can be a valuable support.
Many schools have peer advocates on campus. Check your school’s website to see if there are advocates on campus. You can also call RAINN’s (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to get support and connected with a local rape or domestic abuse crisis center.
Connecting with a counselor
Colleges and universities usually provide several free counseling sessions and can help you find someone more long term. Your college may be required to provide these services free of charge.
Confiding in a trusted source:
Talking about your experience with someone close to you can be one of the most helpful steps in recovering from sexual assault. Keeping violence or harassment a secret is a huge burden to bear and you don’t have to go through this alone. Remember that it is never too late to get help, whether that means going to a doctor or telling someone you trust about what you are going through. There are many people out there who believe you and want to support you. You are not alone in dealing with this and there are lots of resources out there to help. You can find more resources about seeking support from trusted sources here.
Connecting with a Doctor
Regardless of when your assault happened, it is important to get medical attention. It is never too late to do this! Consider visiting a doctor who can provide you with information on STI’s, pregnancy, any injuries, and mental health options.