Violence Awareness

Tips For Addressing Sexual Assault

Tips and resources to follow and use if you, or someone you know has experienced sexual assault.

One of the most important things for survivors of sexual assault to know is that YOU are not ALONE and there is help available.

If you have been assaulted:

  • Call the police or if you are still in danger call 911
  • Go to a nearest hospital for immediate medical help
  • Tell someone you trust
  • Call the police
  • This unimaginable painful experience and it is important to keep evidence by not showering or throwing away your clothes

Feelings following a sexual assault
Angry, ashamed, afraid, confused or disoriented, badly about themselves, shock, withdrawn, powerless, helpless, sad, depressed, guilty, mood swings, unable to eat or sleep.

How can you help your friend or loved one
Remember: The survivor’s response may be different than you expect. The intensity and range of emotions can make it hard to talk about the assault. If someone comes to you about an assault, you should:

  • Stay calm, listen carefully, without interrupting and judgment
  • Avoid asking “why” questions
  • Believe the person, reassure your friend it is not his or her fault
  • Encourage the person to get immediate medical help
  • Maintain confidentiality and privacy

Note: If your friend is under the age of 18, you may be required to make a report to Child and Family Services and/or the police.

  • offer to help, but let your friend make the decisions
  • help by getting information on services in the community
  • ask your friend if he/she wants to report the assault to the police
  • reassure your friend that you are there to help and that healing is possible

One of the most important things for survivors of sexual assault to know is that YOU are not ALONE and there is help available. Every survivor is unique and will need to find the help that is right for him or her.

Professional counselling, support groups, friends and family can all play a part in helping a survivor during the period after an assault.

Important contacts

  • Elmwood Community Resource Center Counselling – (204) 982-1720 ext. 201
  • Klinic’s 24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line – (204) 786-8631
  • Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) – (204) 787-3942

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