Rape Survivor Information

What to do if you have been raped

First, you need to make sure you are safe.

Once you feel safe, you should either call your local law enforcement agency or go directly to the hospital. It is important that you go directly to the hospital to keep as much evidence on your person as possible. This includes not showering, or removing your clothing. If you do remove your clothing, place it in a bag to maintain evidence.

If you have been raped, go to the nearest hospital that has a S.A.F.E (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) program as soon as possible. F.F. Thompson Memorial Hospital on Parrish Street in Canandaigua is the only hospital with such a program in Seneca, Ontario, and Yates counties. However, staff from Soldiers and Sailors in Penn Yan and Clifton Springs Hospital are in the process of training in Syracuse.

Any area hospital can give you an exam and take evidence.

When you arrive at the hospital or before you go to the hospital, you may call our hotline and an advocate can meet you there or you can request that the hospital call us for support.

Once you are at the hospital you can decide how you want to proceed. It is your choice what happens next!

You may choose to get a Sexual Assault Exam. This consists of an examination to check for physical injury, to administer a post-exposure HIV/AIDS prophylaxis (within 36hrs) and emergency contraception (within 72 hours).

There is also the option of receiving a Forensic Exam. This exam is similar in that it examines the victim’s body for physical injury but a forensic exam also collects any evidence on the victim’s person (hair, semen, etc.). Photos of bruising or other injury will be taken as part of this evidence collection as well.

You will then be given the choice of whether or not you want to press charges against your attacker. We recognize that there are many different variables to take into consideration when making this decision. Even if evidence is collected law enforcement is required to keep the evidence for 30 days before destroying it. This means that you do not have to decide right away if you want to press charges.

If you choose to press charges an officer can take your statement then or you can arrange a time to do so. An advocate can come with you to do this as well.

Increasingly, victims are reporting being raped but with no recollection of events or having had one or two drinks and feeling suspiciously drunk. If this sounds familiar you may have been slipped a drug in your drink (even non-alcoholic drinks). Tests may reveal this drug in your system for up to 96 hrs after the drug entered your system. The drug facilitated side bar can provide you with more information.

The days following an assault can be very difficult. It is important that you talk to someone when you are ready. Although family and friends can be well meaning, they sometimes have a hard time knowing how to respond and can make the survivor feel worse.

If you need to talk please call. We have worked with many survivors and may be able to help.