After sexual assault, it’s hard to know how to react, what to do next and how you will move forward. You may be physically hurt, emotionally drained, or unsure how you feel and what to do next. Every reaction, feeling and desire at this time is normal; you just experienced a traumatic event and your brain and body have been impacted. Regardless, please know that you are not alone. If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.
- Your safety is important. Are you in a safe place? If you’re not feeling both physically and emotionally safe, consider reaching out to someone you trust for support. You don’t have to go through this alone and if you have trouble identifying or reaching your trusted companion- feel free to call our crisis line at 607-722-4256
- What happened was not your fault. Something happened to you that you didn’t want to happen- and that’s not OK.
- Medical Care. You may wish to seek medical attention to treat any possible injuries and to check for injuries you may not be able to see including sexually transmitted infections, disease, HIV and pregnancy options. Any emergency room in Broome County will provide care for survivors of sexual violence and a CVAC advocate will meet you there to help you walk through the process during this tough time. If you can, it’s best to avoid showering, bathing, or doing any cleansing activity before arriving at the hospital.
- Medical costs associated with an emergency room visit due to sexual assault should be covered by New York State’s Office of Victim Services Forensic Rape Examination (FRE) Direct Reimbursement Program. To learn more visit: https://ovs.ny.gov/forensic-rape-examination-fre-direct-reimbursement-program
- Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. In addition to the medical care you will recieve, you may wish yo have a sexual assault forensic exam, sometimes called a “rape kit”. During this exam, a specially trained provider will collect DNA evidence that can help identify the perpetrator or help with prosecuting them in court. You do not have to agree to the forensic portion of the exam to receive treatment, but doing so may give you a stronger case if you decide to report the crime now or down the road.
- Option to report to law enforcement. It is important to note that none of the steps above require that police will be notified of your assault. The hospital, advocate, nor anyone else will involve law enforcement without your explicit permission to do so. You can still choose to collect evidence through the SAFE exam/kit and this will be stored for up to 20 years; until you are ready to report.