The moment someone sexually assaulted you, it would forever change your life.
Things can get overwhelming and you may not know what to do. You are still traumatized
not only physically but also emotionally and mentally. Despite this, never ever think that
you are alone.
What you can do in the immediate aftermath
Assess yourself and your body. Are you hurt or injured? If so you may call 911 or go to the
nearest hospital to seek medical attention. You also have to make sure that you are in a safe
place and you are not in imminent danger.
If you are hesitant in reaching out to 911 or the authorities, you can reach out to a trusted
family member or friend to help you get to safety. Once you are in a safe place make sure to
prioritize seeking medical attention and getting tested for possible sexually transmitted disease
you may have gotten from the sexual assault.
Should I report the assault?
This is entirely up to you. You own your story and you may need more time to process
what has happened. What you can do is to seek support first prior to deciding if you want
to report this to the authorities.
The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline is one of the best resources to reach out to
and seek help with what happened. You can reach the hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673).
If you are experiencing anxiety and depression, you may of course also seek professional
help from therapists or psychiatrists to process the assault.
I decided to report the perpetrator, what should I do?
You can call 911or go to a local police station to report the incident . If you are seeking
medical attention because of the assault, you can also inform the doctors or nurses of the
hospital to report what had happened on your behalf.
Of course, it is best to seek assistance from sexual assault lawyers to guide you through the
legal process of filing a criminal or civil lawsuit against your perpetrator. Please also be guided
that you have roughly a year from the day of the assault to report it to the authorities.
What happens now?
The most important thing to do after this is to heal and recover from the trauma and this does
not just involve the physical trauma you have received. Most importantly, the emotional and
psychological harm done must be healed.
You can invest in self-care routines, seek professional help, or join support groups. Build a
network of support systems around you to help you recover. Remember that you are not
alone in this.
Just remember, it is your story and you have all the power over it.