If You Are a Victim of Non-Stranger Sexual Assault:

  1. Overview
  2. Sexual Violence
  3. If You Are a Victim of Non-Stranger Sexual Assault:
  1. Reach out for help. Remember, you are not alone.
  2. 2. What happened was not your fault. Talk to someone you trust.
  3. 3. Get to a safe place.
  4. 4. Reporting is your choice. If you decide to report the crime, call 911.
  5. 5. You can have a forensic medical exam without reporting the assault to law enforcement (except in cases of minors or some adults with guardians). A free forensic medical exam can be confidentially conducted at a licensed medical facility. (See the Forensic Medical Exam section of this website.)
  6. 6. If possible, do not shower, bathe, douche, change clothes or go to the bathroom prior to a forensic medical exam. Doing so may lose valuable evidence that could be used if the case is prosecuted.
  7. 7. Go to a hospital emergency room for assistance and treatment. Ask if your community has a rape crisis center that sends an advocate to be with you to provide support and information.
  8. 8. Get support. The local rape crisis center can provide confidential support services and referral information.
  9. 9. Whether or not you report the sexual assault to law enforcement, you should still protect your health. Consult your health care provider for information about identification, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.


Recovery from an assault can be facilitated by contacting an advocate who understands the needs of sexual assault victims. Many communities in West Virginia have rape crisis centers with 24-hour counseling and advocacy services. The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE connects all callers with an available rape crisis center nearest them. Adolescents who are being sexually abused can also contact the 24-hour National Child Abuse Hotline for assistance and referral at 1-800-422-4453.

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