Survivor's Guide

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Do not shower, bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, use the toilet or clean up in any way. You could destroy evidence.
  • Do not change or destroy clothing. Your clothes are evidence.
  • If it was in your home, do not rearrange and/or clean up anything. You could destroy evidence.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. (Evidence should be collected when you get to the hospital.)
  • Contact a friend or family member you trust or call the local rape crisis center hotline.
  • Most of all, know this is not your fault.
  • determine whether to report the crime to the police
  • ask for a female police officer if you choose to report
  • locate an attorney to represent you (the prosecutor is not your attorney)-and you can
  • sue the rapist in civil court for money
  • refuse to have evidence collected
  • request that someone accompany you in the examination room
  • be considered a rape victim/survivor regardless of the rapist's relationship to you.

Getting back to normal can take a long time and you may be wondering if there is anyone who can help. Many survivors have found it helpful to talk to rape crisis counselors. You can find the telephone numbers of your local center here or listed in your phone book. The centers may also refer you to a professional therapist if you prefer or need this. 



2000 Dennice is solely responsible for the opinions expressed 


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