One in five women experiences sexual assault throughout their life.
Here’s another startling fact.
One in 73 men will become a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.
The recent testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a testament to the powerful influences of sexual assault and its long-term effects on the human psyche. It shed light on why so many sex crimes go unreported. And it ultimately highlighted a key problem in our society — the quickness for society as a whole to blame the survivor and victimize the abuser.
It’s extremely likely that someone you know has been sexually assaulted or has been a victim of sexual violence. This could be a friend, a family member, a partner or an acquaintance.
That’s why it’s important that you know how to speak with survivors of sexual assault — whether you know they’ve been attacked or not.
Survivors of sexual assault don’t always tell their friends and family about what they’ve been through — especially not right away. They might not include you in the healing process or inform you of the long-term effects of the incident.
But when they do decide to open up, there are ways that you can provide these survivors with the support that will help their wounds heal.
There are a number of community resources, sexual assault services and even a national sexual assault hotline whose sole purpose is to help alleviate the traumas of sexual assault survivors.
By being aware of these resources, you can help those you know affected by these terrible acts. Helping survivors access these tools does more than a simple “I’m sorry” could ever accomplish.
Here’s a list of some impactful resources that can help survivors overcome the lasting impacts of sexual assault.
RAINN is the national sexual assault telephone hotline.
All survivors have to do is call the hotline number and they’ll be put in contact with a trained sexual assault service provider in the area. These trained experts can provide survivors with the verbal support they need and connect them with local services. Survivors can ask questions about how to seek medical attention, what to tell police and learn how to deal with the lasting mental traumas.
The number for RAINN is 800-656-4673 (HOPE).
20 to 25 percent of college women and 15 percent of college men experience forced sex during their time on campus. Therefore, it’s essential that college students get their own resource.
End Rape On Campus is a free support group for college students. People who experience sexual assault on campus can call this free hotline to access the resources provided. These can help them heal.
The number for EROC is 424-777-3762
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is a community resource center. It provides written online materials for survivors to read. This information destination helps sexual assault survivors learn coping mechanisms and connects them with local professionals.
Love Is Respect is a project created by National Domestic Violence Hotline and Break the Cycle. It’s a valuable resource that offers advice and information for victims of sexual assault. But it also goes a step further by providing insights into how healthy relationships thrive.
You can contact this 24/7 resource by calling 1-866-331-9474, texting love is to 22522 or sending an online message.
The Crisis Text Hotline is the perfect resource for those survivors that would feel more comfortable texting. All they have to do is text HOME to 741741. This will give them 24/7 access to crisis support all across the country.
The Breathe Network is a counseling and support service that connects sexual assault survivors with professionals in their area. Whether they need medical care, psychological counseling or just a relaxing getaway — this service has it all. What survivors feel they need to heal is different depending on the person. This resource knows that and provides that for them.
Domestic Shelters is an online database that collects a list of domestic shelters in the country and puts them all in one place. Therefore, it collects verified information about shelters and support centers across the country. This makes it easy for survivors to find local resources with one quick search.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline is a vital resource. If you or someone you know is depressed or thinking about depression, this hotline provides you with a professional to talk through your problems with. Even more, this hotline provides 24/7 support for victims of all types of violence and mental traumas.
These are just a few of the powerful resources available to sexual assault survivors. But they are essential tools that can give them the strength they need to move on.