Where to Go from Here — Where to Find Support
- Sexual violence is one of the greatest affronts to human dignity imaginable.
- Any non-consensual sex is a terrible wrong. Therefore, it is considered a criminal offense.
- Young girls and women are often concerned that they may have conceived due to rape. A positive test would trigger a multitude of thoughts and emotions.
You may like:
- 🤰🏻 Am I pregnant? Take the Online Pregnancy Test.
- ⚖️ Should I have an Abortion? Take the Abortion Test.
- ☎️ Need immediate advice? Find out where to receive help by here in this article.
Rape/Sexual Abuse: When You Have Been Assaulted
You may have gone through this terrifying event recently and most likely feel like you are at the end of your rope. Was this a one-time situation, or have you had to suffer through this repeatedly?
Some young girls and women don’t realize what happened until later, after the incident... In the meantime, they go through the motions of everyday life... This is a common reaction to trauma. The perpetrator may have spiked your drink with knockout drops. Perhaps you don’t even know who he was.
The abuse may not have happened at the hands of a stranger. Sometimes the crime is committed by an acquaintance or even someone you had trusted.
If the perpetrator is a family member, or your partner, it can be difficult to know whom to trust...
A violation like that affects not only your physical body, but also your very being. There are many tools available that offer you support in your current situation. Choose the resources that aid your healing. 💚
You Are Worth It! Immediate Support:
Regardless of the details of your harrowing story, you do not have to deal with it on your own!
Support is available 24/7:
- to process what has happened
- to know what steps to take
As well as for your safety:
- if you are afraid that it could happen again
- if threats and force continue to be used against you
- if the perpetrator is (still) in your vicinity
You may have already informed the police or be thinking about filing a report; or maybe taking this step feels too daunting, and you may still want to think about your options.
Below you will find a list of places you can turn to for advice. Of course, you have the right to remain anonymous.
☎️ 24-hour helpline for victims of sexual assault:
If you are in IMMEDIATE danger:
- Call 999
Rape Crisis Help:
- Call 1800-778888
Crisis Text Line:
- Text HELLO to 50808
Rape Crisis Network Ireland:
- www.rcni.ie (list of services nationwide)
Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline:
- Call 1800-341-900
- www.safeireland.ie (List of services nationwide)
If you are in IMMEDIATE danger:
- Call 911
National Sexual Assault Hotline:
- Call 800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- Call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text "START" to 88788
Loveisrespect (Abusive Relationship Hotline):
- Call 866-3319474 or Text "LOVEIS" to 22522
National Deaf Domestic Violence Hotline:
- Video Call 855-812-1001
Crisis Text Line:
- Text HOME to 741741
👤 Are you being trafficked (prostitution, forced marriage...) and have no one to turn to?
Even though seeking medical attention is probably the last thing on your mind right now — make sure you take care of yourself!
Your gynecologist can identify and treat general physical injuries, genital injuries, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Additionally, a head-to-toe examination by a sexual assault nurse examiner within the first hours or days can allow for evidence collection. Therefore, it is important not to bathe or change before receiving medical attention. A “rape kit” is used for this purpose. By law, this must be provided free of charge. You will not receive a bill from your medical provider.
Your decision, whether to report to the police or not, is irrespective of medical findings. Any evidence is kept on file for at least ten years, should you choose to make a report later.
ℹ️ You may wonder whether your case would be classified as sexual assault since you did not say “No” or “Stop” and did not try to defend yourself. His advances may have come completely out of the blue, making you too shell-shocked to react. If he went against your will, using coercive measures, he committed a criminal act. You have the right to a medical examination and a police report. This assault was not your fault!
- Doctors are required to maintain confidentiality.
- In most areas, doctors are not required to file a report unless the victim is a minor.
- You have the choice to receive medical attention without collecting evidence. It is your choice whether a rape kit is used.
- No step can be taken without your prior permission.
🏥 Emergency Rooms with on-call gynecologists or sexual assault nurse examiners are best equipped to meet your healthcare needs and uncover evidence.
💊 Wondering whether to take the morning-after pill? Take the Test.
Anxious About Being Pregnant?
Sometimes the fear of a possible pregnancy is instant. Other times this fear comes more slowly after you have processed what happened. It is also possible that you were not fully aware of what was happening at that moment.
Are you becoming more anxious about a possible pregnancy because of potential early pregnancy symptoms or a late period?
ℹ️ Even if you could fend off the attack before intercourse, he may have gotten close enough for you to wonder if you could be pregnant. In this case, pregnancy would be very unlikely, but it is understandable that you want to be sure.
How to Know for Sure:
- Describe your symptoms when taking our Online Pregnancy Test. You will receive an immediate evaluation.
- Take an at-home pregnancy test. You can purchase one at most pharmacies and convenience stores. These urine-based tests provide reliable results when taken at least 14 days after the assault. Some tests can be used earlier.
- When seeking medical attention for possible injuries or infections, you may also be able to find out whether you are pregnant via blood test or ultrasound.
Pregnant — Where to Go from Here?
You may be concerned about the “What if...”. Or maybe your fears have already come true.
The circumstances leading up to the pregnancy were against your will — and now you find yourself pregnant with someone you would probably never have chosen as the father of your child. Understandably, you would be wondering where to go from here...
It makes sense that you would consider abortion as your only way forward. Still, you might have mixed feelings about this. You may be wondering what steps to take and what your unique path could look like.
💬 Read about the questions other women in your shoes are contemplating! They might be the same as yours.
You may also like:
- 📝 Abortion: Pros and Cons (including a self-evaluation)
- ⚖️ Abort or keep the baby? Take the Abortion Test.
➡️ Read about regulations for abortion in cases of rape here.
Questions and Experiences
From the outside looking in, it is impossible to know what you must be going through. In addition, every lived experience is unique and incomparable.
Still, some questions are repeatedly raised in our counseling sessions by women who have become pregnant by rape.
Often these questions conjure up competing thoughts and emotions that are equally valid. Feel free to click on each rubric and allow your thoughts to marinate. What is at the forefront of your mind right now? What would be the most decisive factor for your course of action?
You may be concerned that the baby will be a constant reminder of the perpetrator and the assault. Or you might be worried the baby could look or become like him.
Contrastingly, you may also be considering how the baby is just as much yours — a part of you, inheriting your traits. The child would also have its own personality and demeanor, affected and influenced by your parenting style.
You may be thinking along these lines: You are caught up in a situation that was not of your choosing. But this is not the baby’s fault.
You are wondering whether you could love a child that was not the result of a loving act, but an act of force and abuse of power. You might ask yourself, “Won’t that make me hate it?”
You want to know how strongly and deeply the hurt and memories will reach into the future. Would the opportunity to love the “innocent” create a stronger bond than the pain of memory?
You may have already started bonding with the baby. This is very common. Despite the harsh circumstances, gentle feelings are beginning to develop. You are surprised and wonder what this could mean.
You may fear that the pregnancy will make it obvious what was done to you. This could be disconcerting. How will they react? Would you prefer it if no one knew?
Most likely, you would like to have someone to confide in — to walk this road alongside you as you find the path that is right for you. This might also be your chance to break free and receive the support and help you have longed for.
Initially, friends and acquaintances will ask this question. Later on, your child will want to know.
You may not need to have an immediate answer. It may take time to formulate and may change according to the one who is asking. You will need a reply that suits your needs and protects your heart.
While counseling women in this situation, we have found that this answer develops with time. For now, focus on whom to confide in. Think about who will be able to keep you safe.
This Is Your Path
If you are a rape victim and this act of violence has led to pregnancy, you could have a lot on your mind right now. When considering your needs and options, take the time to assess what steps are right and helpful for you.
On the one hand, consider what would be the best course of action in the long run as you focus your thoughts on the pregnancy.
On the other hand, direct your attention towards healing from this trauma. Even though nothing can make this assault undone, seek avenues that lead to healing. You are worth it! ❤️🩹
We encourage you to take advantage of all the support available to you — even professional help — as soon as you feel up to it. The "when?" and "how?" are completely up to you.
We would be honored to walk this road alongside you. Check out our digital coaching services. They are available 24/7 and provide an immediate evaluation.
Further Support Near Me💚
Unsure what kind of services are provided to sexual assault survivors?
Here is an overview:
A neutral party familiar with sexual assault cases can support you on your journey toward healing. Step by step, a counselor can give you the tools necessary to process your trauma and move on.
- You may like: 💡 Solution Finder Test
Knowing that you are not the only one in this situation can feel good. Sharing stories in a community of like-minded people can provide much-needed stability. This context will help you rediscover your strengths and personal resources.
- You may like: 💪🏻 Strengths Finder Test
File a Police Report
Rape and sexual abuse are criminal offenses. Filing a report can help bring the perpetrator to justice. A report would aim toward a court hearing and a verdict.
This can help you heal, protect you from a repeat offense, and shield others from falling victim to the same offender.
This process can be very emotionally challenging. Therefore, keep in mind that you get to dictate the process. Questioning, for example, can be paused and set for a later time, should you need a break.
- You may like: 👥 Personality Test
Legal aid is made available to you to provide you with advice. You may be thinking about filing a police report but want to know what to expect. Your legal advocate will be able to walk you through each of the steps beforehand.
If you are pregnant and desire to keep the baby, a legal advisor could answer questions about child support.
Many women fear that keeping the baby would legally bind them to the perpetrator. Your legal aid will help you know your rights so you and the baby remain protected.