Online sexual abuse and resources for survivors
Just like with abuse that takes place physically, online sexual harassment and abuse can be traumatic. Online sexual harassment and abuse can threaten your sense of safety and overwhelm the nervous system in the same ways harm, physical threats, and in-person events are experienced.
Finding support online
Online sexual abuse can be traumatic, which left untreated can lead to PTSD and other long-term health issues. If you have experienced online sexual abuse, know that you are not alone, the harm you have experienced is valid, and you can seek support.
Online resources for survivors
- Your local sexual assault resource center: These community centers can help survivors of abuse, no matter when the abuse occurred and no matter if a report was made to police. You can find your local center using this directory or search for your state anti-sexual violence coalition for more resources. Local sexual assault advocates will let you know what services are available to support survivors — whether virtually or in-person — in your community.
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline where their volunteers offer support 24/7 to survivors and their loved ones. Whether you’re looking for support, advice, or a referral, you can contact RAINN at 800-656-HOPE or chat online with a trained support specialist.
- Message boards, forums, and groups: Survivors are connecting online in communities such as subreddits where they are sharing their stories with others. While a less formal form of support, these online spaces provide a platform where survivors can share experiences and support one another.
- Self Care Workbook from Move to End Violence
- A Toolkit for Survivors During COVID-19 from me too.
- Support, Self-Care and Resiliency video series from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, SisterSong, the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, and the Womxn Project
- Student's Guide to Radical Healing
- Coping with Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) Exposure from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children