EXPLORING YOUR OPTIONS
There are many actions you can take following a sexual assault. Just remember, it wasn’t your fault. You have the right to get help, be heard, and to be treated with respect.
For more information on reporting, medical care, & options for students please visit: www.seekthenspeak.com/
Helping a Survivor
When someone tells you they were sexually assaulted, the best way to respond is simply believe them. Survivors are often afraid that others won’t believe them, or that they will blame them for what happened, so it is important to listen and offer support.
Let them take the lead on what they need from you.
TALK TO A FRIEND OR FAMILY-After a sexual assault, most people tell someone what happened, whether it is a friend, family member, or someone else they love or respect. However, some people never tell anyone.
The decision to tell someone is yours and yours alone. For many people, it can be very helpful to talk to a loved one after they have been sexually assaulted. That person may be able to provide comfort and support, and even help you access other forms of assistance.
Looking for Help?
The Bridge staff are deeply sorry that you have recently been sexually assaulted and we understand this was a traumatic experience for you. It may be difficult for you to identify what you are feeling and you may be numb or in shock to what has happened to you. You may not know who you can tell.
You came to the right place.
You are not alone. The Bridge believes you. We understand that this was not your fault. You can get in touch with someone called an advocate, who can help you through this process, and you can even start reporting to authorities, if you choose to.
You are in control of the information you share, who you share it with, and what you want to happen with it.
GET IMMEDIATE HELP -
If you are in immediate danger, try to find a safe place and call 911. Or get someone to call for you. The 911 call operator will stay on the line with you, until a police officer arrives to help you.
If you are seriously injured or in intense pain, get medical help right away. You have the right to get medical treatment even if you don't have enough money or insurance to pay for it. Call 911 if you cannot make it to the hospital on your own.
CONTACT AN ADVOCATE- The Bridge has a Sexual Assault Advocate that can provide information and support for sexual assault survivors - as well as their friends and family members.
An advocate can help you to learn more about your options, make decisions, and take action.
The Bridge offers a 24-hour hotline and around-the-clock response, so an advocate can meet you at the hospital or police department. That means you don’t have to be alone. These services are free and confidential, so the advocate won’t share information with anyone else.
HOW WILL OTHERS RESPOND?- For some survivors, it can be hurtful when their loved one doesn't respond in the way they hoped. Most people don’t understand sexual assault very well, so even if the person loves you very much, they may have an immediate reaction of disbelief, anger, or even blame.