There are many kinds of help for rape victims. If you have been raped and are reaching out for rape victim support, you should know that you are not alone and that resources exist to help rape victims. There is online rape victims support available as well as telephone support and, of course, in person support.
If you have just been through a rape, it's important that you get medical help for rape victims. Even if you don't think you're physically hurt, medical help is still critical to assess rick of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Medical personnel can also guide you to local rape survivors support.
If you don't know where to start, a good place is the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Call them at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
Online Rape Support
There are many types of online rape support available. This rape victim's support ranges from stories from other rape victims, educational material and support groups for rape victims. Online rape support has the advantage of being accessible from anywhere, at any time, and does not require the face-to-face interaction that may cause anxiety for some. Rape support online may be the first step in accepting what has happened and in getting in-person support.
- An online rape support hotline is available through the Rape, Incest and Abuse National Network
The online rape support hotline will put you in touch with a trained volunteer to talk to via instant messenger. The online rape support hotline can provide:
- Crisis intervention and support
- Answers to your questions about recovering from sexual assault
- Information about medical issues
- Explanations of the criminal justice system, and what to expect when you report the crime to the police
- Referrals to resources in your area
- Information for family and friends of victims
More sources of online rape support include:
- HealthyPlace.com Sexual Abuse and Rape Forum – provides message board for survivors of rape
- After Silence – provides education, an online support group, message board and chat room
- Pandora's Project – provides education, an online support group and chat room
- MDJunction – a rape support group
- Daily Strength – a rape support group
Finding In Person Rape Victim Support
Often the best way of finding help as a rape victim is through your local rape crisis center. These centers provide free services and are dedicated to helping victims of sexual violence. Rape crisis centers often provide:
- Counseling and support groups (more info on: Rape Therapy)
- Crisis intervention
- Legal information and advocacy
- Medical information, services and advocacy
- Educational materials and courses
- Community outreach services
To find your local rape crisis center, call your local police department or hospital emergency room, the National Sexual Assault Hotline or consult WomensHealth.gov.
The National Center for Victims of Crime may also be of help. Contact this rape victim support at 1-800-FYI-CALL (394-2255) or through their website.