Open Arms provides support to survivors of sexual violence by providing 24/7 advocacy while receiving medical treatment, legal advocacy, emergency shelter, individual and group support, and a 24-hour crisis hotline. All services provided are free and confidential.
What to Do If You've Been Sexually Assaulted
· Ensure your safety first. Get to a safe place, call 911 or someone you trust.
· Seek medical attention, even if you think you are not injured.
· Do not bathe, brush your teeth, or change your clothes. You will destroy evidence that will be necessary to press charges.
· Report the incident, even if you choose not to press charges.
· Remember, sexual assault is a criminal act! We are here to help survivors in their journey to recovery.
Suggestions for Recovery
Seek out a support system. Share your feelings and your story as you feel comfortable. Know that it is okay to feel the way you do. Understand that healing takes time. Be patient and give yourself time that you need.
What Can Friends and Family Do?
Be supportive, patient, and do not judge. Be reassuring – sexual assault is not the survivor's fault. Make sure the survivor feels safe. Allow the survivor to re-establish control over his/her life. Listen, but do not push. Control your own feelings. This will allow you to focus on the survivor's feelings. Get support for yourself. Open Arms advocates are available to meet with friends and family members.