Getting Assistance For Myself
What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
It is your choice to determine when and in what manner you recover from your trauma. Give yourself the time you need and know that it is never too late to get help. Know that what happened was not your fault. Consider asking a trusted friend or relative to be with you for support
Get to a safe location
If you are unsure where to go or can think of nowhere that is safe for you at this time, please consider calling a local police department:
- Dial 911 for emergencies
- Juneau Police Department (907-586-0600)
- Ketchikan Police Department (907-225-6631)
- Sitka Police Department (907-747-3245)
Seek medical care as soon as possible
You may need to receive basic medical treatment for injuries and you may have injuries of which you are not aware at this time. You also may be at risk of acquiring a sexual transmitted infection (and women may also be at risk for pregnancy). Trained staff at the local hospitals can speak with you about all of the medical options available to you:
- Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau
- PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Ketchikan
- Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center in Sitka
Speak with a Victim Advocate
- AWARE in Juneau (907-586-1090)
- WISH in Ketchikan (907-225-9474)
- SAFV in Sitka (907-747-6511)
You may choose to file a report with the local police or the Title IX office
Reporting the attack does not require that you file criminal charges, but rather, it puts in place support systems that you may choose to use. Additional support systems at the university are also available through the Title IX office.
Seek some form of emotional support
While taking care of your physical needs may be the first step in taking care of yourself, it is important not to neglect the emotions you may be experiencing as a result of the assault. The Student Counseling Center has staff that is specially trained to assist students with recovery and healing.
Sexual assault is devastating to all victims, regardless of gender, gender identification or sexual orientation. In addition to the fears and concerns that any survivor of sexual assault may have, you may have some that are specifically related to being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning. These concerns may not only be about what occurred during the assault, but how you will be treated by the health care and justice systems, your friends, family, and if you are in a relationship, your partner.
Some issues you may be dealing with include:
- Fear of disclosure to friends, family and/or employees.
- Fear that your sexual orientation or gender identification will be seen as your central "issue" to health care providers, instead of the assault.
- Concerns that your case will not be taken seriously because of your sexual orientation or gender identification.
- Questioning your sexual orientation or gender identification after the assault.
- Feelings of vulnerability, guilt or self-blame.
It may be helpful to know that you will not be required to disclose your sexual orientation to anyone, unless you choose to do so. Regardless of how you feel about your sexuality — still questioning, closeted, or totally "out" — you are entitled to the same sensitive treatment heterosexual survivors should receive.
If you suspect or know that the assailant knew you were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, you may want to report the assailant to the Hate Crime National Hotline 206-350-HATE (4283).
Above all, it is important to remember that the assault is not your fault. This may be hard to acknowledge if you are coming to terms with your sexuality or gender identification, or if the assailant indicated that he/she knew of your orientation. Remember, you have the right to services that are non-judgmental and to surround yourself with those who can emotionally support you through the healing process. There are on-campus resources that can help such as the Student Counseling Center (907-796-6000).
The RAINN LGBTQ Survivors of Sexual Violence resource may also be helpful.