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  • Writer's pictureAdam Funk

What to do after a Sexual Assault

What happens after someone gets sexually assaulted

Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that can have a lasting impact on the victim. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, it is important to know what to do next. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Get to a safe place. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you are not in immediate danger, find a safe place where you feel comfortable and can get help.

  2. Get medical attention. Even if you don't think you're injured, it's important to get medical attention after a sexual assault. A medical professional can check for injuries and provide you with support.

  3. Report the assault to the police. Reporting the assault to the police can help hold the perpetrator accountable and bring them to justice.

  4. Connect with a crisis support hotline. There are many crisis support hotlines available for victims of sexual assault. These hotlines can provide you with emotional support and resources.

  5. Seek professional counseling. Professional counseling can help you process the trauma of sexual assault and learn coping mechanisms.

In addition to the above, here are some other things you may need to do after a sexual assault:

  • Collect evidence. If possible, collect evidence of the assault, such as clothing, bedding, or other items that may have the perpetrator's DNA on them. You should also preserve any text messages, emails, or other communications that you have had with the perpetrator.

  • Contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options after a sexual assault. They can also represent you in court if you decide to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator.

What to expect after reporting a sexual assault

Once you have reported a sexual assault to the police, they will investigate the crime. This may involve interviewing you, witnesses, and the perpetrator. They may also collect physical evidence.

If the police believe that there is enough evidence to support a charge, they will arrest the perpetrator. The perpetrator will then be arraigned in court and a trial date will be set.

If the perpetrator is convicted of sexual assault, they may face a variety of penalties, including jail time, probation, and sex offender registration.

How to cope with the emotional aftermath of sexual assault

Sexual assault can have a devastating impact on the victim's emotional well-being. Many victims of sexual assault experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD after a sexual assault, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you process the trauma and develop coping mechanisms.

Here are some other tips for coping with the emotional aftermath of sexual assault:

  • Talk to someone you trust. Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or other trusted person can help you feel less alone and more supported.

  • Take care of yourself. Make sure you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. These activities can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can worsen symptoms of PTSD and make it more difficult to cope with the trauma.

  • Join a support group. There are many support groups available for victims of sexual assault. Joining a support group can provide you with the opportunity to connect with other people who have been through similar experiences.


Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have a lasting impact on the victim. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, it is important to know what to do next. By following the steps above, you can get the help you need and start the process of healing.


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