About Abuse

Sexual Assault / Rape

Updated: 
February 17, 2017

Who can I call for help?

There are several places you may call for help if you have been sexually assaulted or fear you might be sexually assaulted:

  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) - this hotline is free, confidential, and open 24 hours/day.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3244 (TTY) for support, shelter, safety planning, or referrals to other services - it is free, confidential, and open 24 hours/day.
  • If you know a child who you worry is being sexually abused, you may want to call Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline for advice and information. This is not the same as reporting the abuse - the purpose is to give you information on options. 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453) - it is free, confidential, and open 24 hours/day.
  • Most states have local rape crisis centers that can assist you with things like counseling and navigating the criminal justice system.  Visit RAINN’s state resources page for a list of centers.
  • For sexual assault related to the military, you can find resources from the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.
  • For help with legal information, contact Email Hotline at WomensLaw.org.

Note:  Depending on to whom you report the abuse, if it involves a minor, there may be mandatory reporting requirements for minor victims.  Many states require that health professionals, school officials, and counselors report any accusations of sexual assault, rape, or unlawful sexual contact to child protective services and/or to the police if the victim is a minor.  Mandatory reporting requirements vary by state.  You can look up your states specific laws on mandatory reporting requirements for minors in RAINN’s State Law Database.  If you are a minor and you want to talk to an adult about sexual assault or abuse without having it be reported to the police or child protective services, it may be a good idea to ask the adult if s/he is a mandatory reporter before you talk to him/her.  If s/he says “yes,” you can ask if s/he can refer you to someone who you can talk to confidentially (who is not a mandatory reporter).  Alternatively, you may want to call a national or state hotline anonymously without giving any identifying information about yourself. 

If you have any specific questions about mandatory reporting requirements in your state, you can email our hotline or contact RAINN.