Sexual Abuse or Assault (Rape)
If you feel threatened or need immediate help:
- Call 911 .
- If you have been
- Call the police immediately, or call a health professional such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor.
- Remember the assault (rape) was not your fault.
- Find a safe environment—anywhere away from the attacker.
- Preserve evidence of the attack—do not change clothes, eat, drink, smoke, bathe, brush teeth, or clean up in any way. Write down all the details about the attack and the attacker.
- Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risk of pregnancy or Reference sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Opens New Window, such as Reference chlamydia Opens New Window, Reference gonorrhea Opens New Window, Reference hepatitis B Opens New Window, or Reference HIV Opens New Window. To preserve evidence, ask the hospital to do a special exam (called a forensic medical exam). If you think you may have been drugged, ask that a urine sample be taken.
- Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline toll-free (1-800-656-HOPE or 1-800-656-4673) for free, confidential counseling.
- Call the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline toll-free (1-866-331-9474) or (1-866-331-8453 TTY).
- Find local Reference resources that can help in a crisis. Your local rape crisis center or hotline, YMCA, YWCA, police department, mental health clinic, or hospital can help you.
- Be alert to warning signs, such as threats or drunkenness, so that you can avoid a dangerous situation.
- If a Reference child tells you that he or she has been sexually abused or assaulted, stay calm. Tell the child that you believe him or her and that you will do your best to keep him or her safe. Report the abuse or assault to the local police or a child protective services agency. For more information, see the topic Reference Child Abuse and Neglect.
If you have been a victim of abuse and continue to have problems related to the abuse, you may have Reference post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Opens New Window. For more information, see the topic Reference Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
If you are concerned that sexual abuse or assault has occurred, Reference call your doctor to decide if and when you should see a doctor or get other help.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 23, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine