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A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Assault

If you are assaulted

Get to a safe place and do the following : 

  • Do not shower, bathe, douche, wash your hands, brush your teeth, or use the toilet. •Don’t
  • change or destroy clothing. •As hard as it may be not to clean up, you may destroy important evidence if you do.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Contact a friend or family member you trust or call your local Rape Crisis
  • Hotline for support and information.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

4 Reading this will help

  • There Are Four Important Reasons Why You Need
  • Medical Attention
  • What are my rights?
  • Where Should I Go?
  • Should I Report?
  • Will This Cost Money?
  • What Medical Treatment Can I Receive?
  • What Will the Exam Be Like?
  • Follow-Up Treatment
  • Emergency Contraception
  • SANE Nurse - What is a Sexual Assault Nurse
  • Examiner?

7 If you think you have been drugged

  • Stage One: Prepare.
  • Stage Two: Call.
  • Stage Three: Go.
  • How could this happen to me?

8 The Realities of Sexual Assault
9 What are my rights?

  • As A Crime Victim or Witness
  • As a Patient

10 Do I have to report this to the police?

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages

11 What happens in court?

  • Usual order of events in a criminal proceeding
  • Can I file a civil suit?
  • What am I feeling?
  • Does anyone know how I feel?
  • How long will I feel this way?

13 How will my family and friends react?
14 Will I ever feel safe again?

  • I’m afraid to be alone.
  • I wonder If I’ll ever feel safe again.
  • I’m afraid my attacker will return.
  • I’m considering purchasing pepper spray or a gun to
  • protect myself.
  • I don’t feel safe at home.
  • I’m frightened when I go out of my house.
  • Safety at home
  • Safety on the street

15 Someone I care about was assaulted.

  • What can I do to help?

16 Who pays for this?

  • Basic Qualification Requirements:
  • Who May Qualify:
  • Who Is Not Eligible:
  • What Crimes Are Covered:
  • What Expenses Are Eligible:
  • Limits on Awards:
  • How to Apply

17 What about me?

  • My child has been sexually assaulted...
  • Legally:
  • Reporting Law:
  • I am a teenager...
  • I am a male survivor...
  • I am a lesbian survivor...
  • I am a senior survivor...
  • I have a disability...
  • I was assaulted by someone I know...
  • I am An Undocumented Resident...
  • Some Common Myths About Marital Rape Include:
  • I was Assaulted by My Spouse...

18 The Realities of Child Sexual Assault
22 Who can help me?

Will I ever feel safe again?

I’m afraid to be alone.                                                         
Your fear is natural. After being
sexually assaulted, you may also feel
humiliated, degraded and depressed.
You may want to isolate yourself even
if you are afraid to be alone. These
feelings are common and it is helpful
to your recovery to deal with them. A
rape crisis hotline or crisis counseling
center may be able to help you deal
with these feelings whenever they

I wonder If I’ll ever feel safe
It is very common for you to feel
afraid, especially in circumstances
similar to those under which the
assault occurred (i.e. same place,
same time of day, etc.) Most people
find that they begin to feel safer after
a period of time. The length of this
period varies. Again, fear for your
safety is a very normal reaction. A
supportive, non-judgmental listener
can help you deal with this normal

I’m afraid my attacker will

Although many rapists threaten to
return, in reality very few ever do. Still,
the threat itself can be frightening.
Taking the precautions to make
yourself and your home safer is one
way of dealing with such a threat and
the fear it causes. See the suggestions
listed below for specific actions you
can take.

I’m considering purchasing
pepper spray or a gun to
protect myself.

It is not uncommon after a sexual
assault to want to purchase a weapon.
It’s a good idea to consider the
following before making a decision.
• Pepper spray cannisters, guns,
knives, hat pins, etc., can all be
taken away and used against you
Also, pepper spray cannisters may
malfunction at any time.
• You may not have your pepper
spray or other weapon with you
when you need it.
• Approximately half of all
assailants are known by the
• Children can find weapons and
hurt themselves accidentally.
As an alternative to weapons, you
may want to enroll in self-defense
courses. A good instructor can
help turn fear into anger and then
into action. You can learn how to
use awareness, assertiveness and
physical action to defend yourself.
Learning self defense is one way of
dealing with fear and anxiety. What
you learn becomes part of you and
you always have it with you.


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CLICK HERE   To view the full PDF of TAASA Survivor Booklet


CLICK HERE  To visit Texas Association Against Sexxual Assault (TAASA)