The first few days after a sexual assault can be a very confusing time. You may have questions and be faced with difficult decisions. During this time you may not want, or be ready, to make many of these decisions. This is normal and okay.
You can call our 24-7 hotline at 800-841-8371 any time or chat online 9:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. to talk to a hotline counselor about your options.
Within 5 days or 120 hours of an assault
- You can be examined and cared for at an emergency room. The sooner you get to the hospital after an assault, the more options you may have.
- Preventative treatments for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are more effective.
- Evidence collection is an option. You do not need to report to the police to have evidence collected, but if you do have evidence collected, you may have more options in the future. Learn more about filing a police report and other legal issues.
- Toxicology testing is available within the first 96 hours after an assault if there are signs that drugs or alcohol may have been used in the assault. Ask for a toxicology kit during your hospital visit if you think you might have been drugged
- Try not to bathe, shower, brush your teeth, or go to the bathroom. This is important for keeping evidence. If you already have, it is still possible to collect evidence.
- If possible, do not change your clothes. If you already have, put your clothes in a clean paper bag, such as a grocery store bag, and bring them with you to the emergency room.
You can get support. We have specially trained medical advocates who can meet you at the emergency room.
If you have concerns about the hospital exam being billed to your insurance, or your parents' insurance, you can tell hospital staffl.
You can choose not to go to the emergency room and still get support by calling our hotline.
Anytime after 5 days or 120 hours of an assault
- It is best to visit your own primary health care provider or a health clinic for medical care. If you do not have a provider, or don't want to go to them about the sexual assault, call the hotline at 800-841-8371 and they will help you find appropriate medical care.
- Preventative treatments for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections can still be effective.
- You still have the option to report to the police. Learn more about filing a police report and other legal issues.
You can still get support by calling our hotline. No matter what decisions you make, know that you have done the best that you can.