Where to Turn for Help
If you’ve recently experienced sexual assault, you might find yourself wondering where to turn for help. Sexual assault is very traumatic, both physically and emotionally, and seeking help right away is an important part of the healing process. There are many wonderful organizations in Georgia that offer support for sexual assault victims.
Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault
GNESA is Georgia’s leading network of sexual assault support providers. They have an extensive network of sexual assault care centers throughout the state. They also work with advocacy organizations, which increase public awareness and fight for the rights of sexual assault victims. They provide a complete list of sexual assault centers throughout Georgia on their website. These sexual assault centers are a safe haven for those who have recently experienced sexual assault or domestic violence. They offer medical treatment as well as counseling to help victims determine their next steps.
This is the largest nationwide network for sexual assault victims and their loved ones. They run the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which victims can call 24/7 for confidential assistance. They also have a free chat function on their website for those who feel more comfortable reaching out for help online. Both the hotline and the online chat are completely confidential. They also work to change public policy surrounding sexual assault and run prevention initiatives throughout the country. Their website also has extensive information about what to do in the aftermath of a sexual assault. If you are unsure of where to go for medical care or mental health support in the wake of trauma, RAINN’s first response hotlines are a good place to go.
Sexual Violence Resource of Georgia
This organization provides support primarily for sexual assault response teams. However, their website also has valuable resources for victims, including lists of trauma centers as well as trusted prosecutors with experience in assault cases.
College Support Centers
If you are a college student, your school may have a support center for those who have been assaulted. Many schools also have affordable clinics and free therapy centers. These services are usually completely confidential. Talk to your school’s general counselors to see what resources are available to you.
What To Do After An Assault
If you’ve been assaulted, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as you feel able. Not only is this crucial for your physical well-being, but it can also make things easier if you choose to eventually pursue a legal case against your assailant. If you choose to press charges, you will only have 72 hours to collect viable forensic evidence. From there, you may choose to file a police report and seek legal counsel. It is also very important to seek psychological support for help managing the mental and emotional trauma of sexual assault. Both group and individual therapy can be very beneficial for those who have experienced trauma. There are also many other types of trauma-informed therapy available, such as animal therapy, art classes, yoga, and more. If you do press charges, it is crucial that you have an experienced and trustworthy lawyer to guide you through the case.
Helping Sexual Assault Victims
If your loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, it can be difficult to know how to support them. The best place to start is by believing the victim, and keeping in mind that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. The next step is to help them find an appropriate crisis center, and help them find medical and legal support. It’s also very important to ask the victim how you can help and respect any decisions they make.