Immediate Help

What to do if you have been raped or assaulted

Immediate Help

Being assaulted is not your fault. We are here to help.

What to do if you have been assaulted:

Get to a safe place as soon as possible. Your immediate safety is first.

Call the Verity 24/7 Hotline for support. Our number is 707-545-7273.

Speak confidentially with a victim advocate, in English or Spanish.

Call a friend or family member.

Call someone you trust, for support.

Call the police.

Reporting the assault to the police is a matter of choice – it’s all up to you! If you are undecided, please consider having the exam done to collect the evidence (evidence should be collected within 72 hours) and receive the medical attention you deserve. You can choose how much you want to cooperate with law enforcement throughout the entire process.

Click here to learn more about reporting.

Click here to learn more about “rape kits” and the medical side of things.

Preserve as much evidence as possible by following these guidelines:
    • DO NOT bathe or shower or wash any body parts involved
    • DO NOT brush your teeth, smoke, eat or drink
    • DO NOT change your clothes (but do take a change of clothes with you to the hospital)
    • DO NOT erase voicemails, emails, texts or other types of communication between you and your attacker
    • DO take photos of any bruises or injuries that may fade quickly

Get immediate medical attention. Medical care is important, to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and to attend to any injuries.

Remember: Sexual Assault is NOT your fault.

You have a right to:
      • be treated with dignity, courtesy, and respect
      • determine whether to report the crime to the police
      • ask for a female police officer if you choose to report
      • demand privacy when meeting with a counselor or a police officer
      • have a personal support person present during interviews
      • locate an attorney to represent you (the prosecutor is not your attorney)
      • sue the rapist in civil court for monetary compensation
      • refuse to have evidence collected
      • be offered a sexual assault counselor/victim advocate to accompany you to medical, law enforcement, and legal proceedings (Penal code 679.04)
      • be considered a rape victim/survivor regardless of the rapist’s relationship to you
      • not be judged because of race, age, class, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities or occupation
      • ask any questions (AND GET ANSWERS!) about tests, exams, medications, treatment or police reports
      • voice complaints and expect to have your complaints heard and accepted

Make sure you understand any forms you are asked to sign. Ask about any necessary follow-up care and testing.

Please consider:
      • Immediate Confidential Support: Verity’s hotline offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Spanish 707-545-7273.
      • Counseling: Counseling is available to you and to those closest to you. It is never too late to get help.
      • Accompaniment: Verity’s Advocates go to court with victims to lend support and give information.
      • Support: Verity offers support groups and skill building groups in addition to individual counseling.

Verity’s advocacy services are free to victims. Counseling is available on a sliding scale. Please call 707-545-7270 x14 for details.

Click here to read about some benefits of reporting sexual violence to law enforcement.

Click here to read about common reactions to sexual assault.

Click here to read about resources for male survivors of sexual assault.

Click here if your loved one has been sexually assaulted and you want to support them.

Try to remember:

You are not at fault for what happened. You did not deserve it. You are alive, you have survived, and now is the time to begin the process of recovery. Reaching out and accepting support is part of the healing process. Call Verity for help. (707) 545 – 7273.

Have you experienced sexual assault in your lifetime?

For anyone who has, the journey to recovery can be difficult. That’s why we’re here. Whether you were just assaulted a few hours ago or you were assaulted 80 years ago, we are here for you.

Sexual violence includes but is not limited to rape, incest, inappropriate touching, sexual harassment, child molestation, marital rape, exposure, and voyeurism.

Sexual violence is very traumatic. Remember, you are not alone.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. It does not matter what you did, wore, or said. The emotional effects of rape do not always appear immediately. It is never too late to get help.

Help for Survivors

Getting back to normal can take a long time and you may be wondering if there is anyone who can help. Many survivors have found it helpful to talk to rape crisis counselors. Call the 24/7 Crisis Line at 707-545-7273 or call during office hours 707-545-7270 to set up an appointment with a counselor at our Santa Rosa office.

If you are not in Sonoma County, you may also call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN, at 1-800-656-HOPE. By calling this number you will be automatically connected to your closest rape crisis center. Rape crisis centers are on call 24-hours a day waiting to help you.

Verity provides a safe place to meet with other survivors. Call us to ask about our support groups.

Sexual assault is a very serious and personal trauma that should always be treated with sensitivity and respect for a survivor’s privacy. But there is a role we all can play in supporting survivors and programs that serve them. Through individual commitments by concerned citizens and the mobilization of communities around the issue of sexual assault, the road to recovery and healing is paved.

Sexual assault affects us all. It compromises the health, safety, and welfare of our families and neighborhoods. It directly burdens financial resources for healthcare, law enforcement, and criminal justice. It takes many people and varied approaches to make a difference. We hope you will join us in creating a society free from sexual violence.

      • Become a Crisis Line Counselor. Volunteers staff the 24/7 Crisis Line. For information, call or email Verity’s Crisis Line Coordinator at 707-545-7270 x 24 or intervention@ourverity.org.
      • Community Education – sexual assault prevention workshops are offered to any community group requesting information on child abuse and general sexual assault issues. Call 707-545-7270 ext. 12 or email prevention@ourverity.org.
      • Become a CAPP/TAPP educator – Child Abuse Prevention Project and Teen Assault Prevention Project. As a presenter for CAPP/TAPP, you will learn to facilitate dynamic classroom workshops for students.
        Call 707-545-7270 ext. 12 or email prevention@ourverity.org.
Call our crisis line at:
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24/7 Crisis Line