You are important! Seeking support and guidance is one way of taking back control and an important step towards self care. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, consider these options:
- Go to a safe place, if you can.
- Call our 24 hour hotline at 1-800-228-2470. An advocate will listen to you and offer support and information to help you decide what to do next.
- If you can avoid it, do not wash, change your clothes, smoke, or eat or drink anything. Evidence can be collected from your body and clothes, which you may be able to use in court if you decide to report the crime to police.
- Go to a hospital. Even if you have done any of the things listed above, it's okay--you can still go to the hospital. Even if days have passed, it's not too late. At no cost, you can get medical attention for injuries and treatment for possible sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention. Evidence of your assault can be collected also at no cost to you. Going to the hospital for help does not mean police are called unless you decide to make a report. Our advocates will meet you at the Emergency Room and help you through the process.
- Consider reporting the crime to police. If you go to a hospital for evidence collection it gives you a choice. You have 90 days to decide if you want to make a police report.
There are many ways sexual assault can happen. Downeast Health can provide caring and confidential help if you are a victim of:
Sexual contact that is forced, unwanted or unwelcome. This includes unwanted groping or fondling, oral, anal and vaginal penetration without consent that occurs between two or more people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, marital or relationship status. A sexual attacker may be a friend, acquaintance, date, employer, relative, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse or stranger.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE OR INCEST
Any sexual activity with a child under the age of 14. Often this occurs by threatening, forcing, or manipulating the child into a sexual act. Incest refers to any sexual contact between any family members, including parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles, step-parents, and live-in partners of parents. Incest usually occurs between an adult and a child and is one of the most common form of sexual assault.
Forcing or tricking someone (either a child or an adult) into posing for sexually explicit photographs or movies. Other forms of exploitation include performing sexually explicit acts for the entertainment or benefit of others.