We at the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center know that too many survivors of sexual abuse do not seek help. We are here to help provide support through the process, whether it happened decades ago or 24 hours ago.
If you have been sexually assaulted, the most important thing is your safety!
Make sure you are in a safe environment and your attacker will not be able to hurt you again. Once your safety is secured, your next step should be to seek medical attention. The Monterey County Rape Crisis Center offers accompaniments to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) and Natividad Medical Center (NMC) for individuals who are interested in undergoing a medical forensic exam and have evidence collected. You can choose to report the crime immediately or if you are 18 years old and above, you can choose to press charges at a later time.
Some of the most common feelings include:
Rape is a crime of power, dominance and coercion, not sex and sexuality. Perpetrators of sexual abuse typically choose victims who they feel they are able to dominate and overpower.
After being sexually assaulted, victims sometimes feel they should have been able to protect themselves against the rapist or it was somehow their fault. Rape is a crime of coercion and force and is never the victim's fault.
Victims of sexual violence tend to blame themselves for the assault, as if they somehow "caused" it to happen. Sometimes they feel embarrassed and are reluctant to seek support even from close friends and family. Again, it is important to remember that it is never the victim's fault.
Being victimized makes us angry and fearful. It is okay to feel angry and upset for being hurt. The objective is to utilize that anger for constructive purposes (i.e. speaking out against sexual violence).
People who are victimized often feel afraid of being alone, or being in a crowd of people, or of places, people and things that remind them of the assault. Sometimes there is a feeling of hypervigilance and the inability to relax. These feelings are normal and diminish over time.
It is common to deny or ignore what has happened. We often feel that if we pretend something didn’t happen, it will make it go away. It is better to seek counseling and support from someone you trust to help you face what has happened.
It is important to address the pervasiveness of sexual violence within the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex) community. Studies indicate that rates of sexual abuse and assault of gay men may be higher than those found in studies of men generally (i.e. without reference to sexual orientation). In addressing issues of sexual abuse within the LGBTQI Community, there are still wide misconceptions about homosexuality and sexuality. Men living with male intimate partners experience more intimate partner violence than do men living with female intimate partner