Crisis Situations - Sexual Assault

Immediately afterwards

  • Call SHARE any time of day or night. We can provide expert, confidential support and information; our services are free. We can offer a supportive ear, or help you think through your various options for response. If you prefer, call someone else—but do seek support. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

  • We recommend that you get medical attention, even if you think you are physically okay.  You may be at risk for a sexually transmitted infection; you might also have internal injuries that can’t be seen or felt. Both men and women should receive post-assault medical attention. Depending on who you are and what happened to you, appropriate treatment could include emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, and/or prophylactic treatment for HIV and other STIs.

  • If the assault happened within the last 72 hours, we also recommend that you consider forensic evidence collection, even if you don’t think you want to press criminal charges. Evidence collection is very time sensitive—hours matter. Collecting evidence (or talking to the police) does not mean that you have to press charges—it is just a way to keep your options open.

    • Medical care + evidence collection: You’ll need to go to the Yale-New Haven Emergency Department (There are legal requirements for evidence collection that prohibit us from doing this at Yale Health).  Both hospital campuses, on York Street and on Chapel Street, are available for evidence collection.

    • Medical care alone: You can go to Acute Care

    SHARE can set up a visit, arrange a ride for you, and accompany you there. You can also call the Yale Police directly 203-432-4400, or the special services minivan at 203-432-2788.

  • Are you thinking about filing any kind of complaint? There are a variety of options, both internal and external, for members of the Yale community. See our page on “Considering your options”; the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention at Yale site is another important source of information. Call us if you have questions or would like us to assist you through any of these processes.

  • And again: please reach out to us or to someone you trust. Many survivors of sexual assault experience troubling emotions following the assault. Sometimes these emotions occur immediately after the assault and sometimes they occur later. Survivors often experience shock, anger, helplessness, self-blame, shame, problems with eating or sleeping, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, irritability, denial and/or fear. Survivors often experience isolation. Most survivors find some relief in talking to empathetic friends, mentors, and counselors—not only can these people offer valuable support, the very act of reaching out can help you fight that isolation. SHARE is always an option. We are here for you, day or night, 365 days a year.

  • For resources beyond Yale, contact: Sexual Assault Crisis Services 888-999-5545.

In the days following

  • Many survivors of sexual assault experience troubling emotions following the assault—sometimes right after, but sometimes a bit later. Survivors often experience shock, anger, helplessness, self-blame, shame, problems with eating or sleeping, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, irritability, denial and/or fear.
     
  • Call SHARE at any time of day or night. We can provide expert, confidential support and information; our services are free. We can offer a supportive ear, or help you think through your various options for response. If you prefer, call someone else—but do seek support. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

  • If you haven’t already done so, we recommend that you get medical attention at Acute Care, even if you think you are physically okay. You may be at risk for a sexually transmitted infection; you might also have internal injuries that can’t be seen or felt. Both men and women should receive post-assault medical attention.  Depending on who you are, what happened to you, and how much time has passed, appropriate treatment could include emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, and/or prophylactic treatment STIs. SHARE can set up this visit, arrange a ride for you, and accompany you there.

  • After the first few days have passed, you may be thinking more concretely about filing some sort of complaint or reaching out for an institutional response. Many survivors find this is an important step towards regaining control. There are a few different options to consider. View more information.

Later – weeks, months, years

  • The impact of sexual assault can unfold in stages over time. People who feel they are “over it” will sometimes find that strong feelings and memories come back. Sometimes, those are triggered by reading or seeing something about sexual violence, by anniversaries of the event, by other experiences (even positive ones) that seem connected. Other times, it’s not clear why these memories and feelings are coming up again. We do know that this is very typical, and generally an important stage of healing—it may not feel like progress, but it probably is! Healing from an assault is a long-term process. 
  • As in the immediate aftermath, we encourage you to call SHARE (203-432-2000, any time) and to reach out to other trusted sources of support. You might be resuming conversations you’ve already started, or telling people for the first time. Both routes are pretty common; indeed, some people call us after years of never speaking to anyone about what happened. Starting such a conversation can feel intimidating, but we urge you to try—we’ve found that it is almost always a relief to people who do make those calls.

  • It is probably not too late to file a complaint—disciplinary or criminal.  Within Yale’s systems, there is no time limit for initiating formal or informal adjudication, and up to four years for informal resolution. Check out our “Filing a Complaint” page for more information.  Many people chose not to do this, but we urge you to think it over. 

  • If you didn’t get medical attention at the time, you might consider doing so now, even in the form of a routine checkup. If you have trouble getting an appointment quickly enough, SHARE can help.