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How to help survivors of sexual assault

Many listening to Christine Blasey Ford recount her story and allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court...

Posted: Sep 27, 2018 8:45 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2018 8:45 PM

Many listening to Christine Blasey Ford recount her story and allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may find the testimony emotional.

That's especially true for those who are survivors of sexual violence.

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If you or someone you know is dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault, there are organizations that can help. Many are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will confidentially listen, answer questions, provide local and legal resources and help determine the next steps.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN, provides the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673, which will route you to a local affiliate organization. You also can reach counselors online. RAINN provides in-depth resources and guides detailing how to reduce your risk of assault, the procedures to report these crimes and the process for healing and recovery. The network has a national database to help find a sexual assault service in your area.

Love Is Respect also offers ways to connect with someone immediately by calling its National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 866-331-9474, doing an online chat or by texting LOVEIS to 22522. Staff members are trained on all aspects of abuse in relationships, including emotional, physical and sexual. They also work to educate and empower young people on how to recognize abuse, date safely and form healthy relationships.

End Rape on Campus offers free, direct support for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses. The group can be reached at 424-777-3762.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is an information and resource hub for all issues related to sexual violence and its prevention. It offers publications and an extensive library that can be searched by topic.

The Department of Defense Safe Helpline is a sexual assault support service for the military community. Confidential help can be reached by phone at 877-995-5247 and online through group's chat service and anonymous group chat room. The group also provides a text referral service that will send the details of local resources if you text your ZIP code, installation or base name to 55247. Online resources detail how to reduce your risk, what to do if you are assaulted and the different options available to report sexual assault.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also open 24/7 to provide support to those in crisis. For help, call 800-273-8255. Spanish speakers can call 888-628-9454, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing should reach out to 800-799-4889.

Another option is the Crisis Text Line if you prefer to text only. In the United States, text HOME to 741741 and a trained, volunteer counselor will get in touch.

Reach out to one of these organizations or talk to someone you know. You are not alone.

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