Sexual violence affects millions of Americans every day. One in six American women has been the victim of rape (attempted or completed) in her lifetime. The same holds true for one in thirty-three American men. It can happen to anyone.
You Are Not Alone
Sexual abuse, assault and harassment effects victims and survivors in different ways. It can affect you physically, emotionally and/or psychologically. It is not always easy but with the right help and support, you can heal. Advocates are available 24/7 to help. If you are in need of help or support, please call our hotline at 570-253-4401 or 570-296-HELP. All calls are confidential.
It Was Not Your Fault
Sexual abuse, assault and harassment are never okay. Victims and survivors experience a range of feelings after an assault: embarrassment, shame, self-blame, depression, anger, fear to name a few. It was not your fault. Anything you may be feeling is a normal reaction to a traumatic event. We are here. We can help. 570-253-4401 or 570-296-HELP. All calls are confidential.
What to Do After a Sexual Assault or Rape
You may feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do. VIP supports victims and survivors with these difficult decisions. We are here to help you through the process, whichever path you decide to take.
Do I Report It to Law Enforcement?
The decision is yours. Some victims want justice. Justice may look different to different people. Some victims may feel fear and think they cannot do it. Yet
when they do, they regain a sense of self-control. We are here to support you through the entire process.
If you need medical attention or are in danger, call 911. An advocate will meet you at the hospital. We will help you through the process.
Whether or not you decide to make a report, you are still able to receive a sexual assault forensic exam (sometimes referred to as a rape kit). These exams are performed by a SANE nurse. This is a sexual assault nurse examiner who is specifically trained to work with victims of sexual assault. You do not have to pay for this exam. Even if you do not think you have any injuries, there may still be evidence that the nurse can collect. If you are unsure whether or not you want to make a report, this evidence collection kit will be coded (in a way you can identify yourself later) should you decide to make a report in the future.
I Think I Want the Exam – How Do I Prepare for It?
If possible, the following can help to preserve the evidence:
- Do not shower or bathe
- Do not use the restroom
- Do not change your clothes
- If you did change your clothes, bring them with you in a paper bag
- Leave the area as is – do not clean it up
- Do not comb your hair
- Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash
These are all normal activities a person wants to do after an assault. If these activities already occurred, an exam is still helpful. There may still be evidence. Additionally, there may be injuries that you are unaware of. You do not have to pay for this exam. You may also receive preventative treatment for STIs (sexually transmitted illnesses) as well as emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.
We are here for you. We can be with you through the exam. VIP is not part of any investigations.
We are there solely for you.