Find Help and Support
There is a national network of community-based rape crisis centers, with centers available in every state and territory. These centers exist across the United States to provide supportive services to victims of sexual assault. While the specific services available vary by location, services are confidential and may include:
- accompaniment during medical exams and law enforcement interviews,
- follow-up services,
- and referrals to other resources.
Every state and territory also has an organization designated to coordinate the activities of rape crisis efforts and represent that state or territory as its coalition.
NSVRC maintains a Directory of State and Territory Coalitions, as well as a Directory of Victim/Survivor Support Organizations that provide services to survivors. Please contact your state or territory’s coalition to find local resources.
The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), organizes the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. The Hotline is a referral service that can put you in contact with your local rape crisis center. You can call the Hotline at 1-800-656-4673, or access RAINN’s online chat service.
Know Your Rights and Options
Victims of crime have rights that depend on the laws of the location (state, territory, tribe) where the crime occurred. Some of the laws that might apply to you if a person has committed the crime of sexual assault against you include:
- Availability of a forensic exam (rape kit) at no cost to you
- Confidential access to victim advocates
- Time limits (statute of limitations) on reporting a sexual assault to the police
- Mandated reporting of the assault if you are a vulnerable person (child or elder adult)
- Confidential communication with service providers
- Testing or storage of evidence kits
- Possible financial compensation for you as a crime victim
It is also a good idea to contact a rape crisis center in the area where you were assaulted since they should be familiar with the laws that apply in their area. RAINN maintains an excellent database of state laws that can help you to understand what rights you have.