Resources on how to deal with sexual assault

If you find yourself or someone close to you in a situation relating to sexual assault there are steps that can be taken.

The First 72 Hours (3 days)

  • Seek Safety

  • Reporting the assault (for further information, visit How to Report a Rape)

  • Medical Care

  • Counseling

  • After the incident

After 72 Hours (4+ days)

Know That:

  • You are not alone.
  • It is not your fault.
  • You have choices and help is available.
  • Gender is NOT an issue; it can happen to anyone.
  • Information is confidential.

Friends supporting each other

  • Medical Care


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the main source of mental health support and psycho-therapeutic services on campus. Most of services are covered for students who are enrolled in the current semester and/or who have already paid health fees for the current academic term.

Learn More


Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. offers a 24-hour hotline, 3 safe shelters, children's program, counseling, (both individual and group), economic empowerment program which includes financial and health literacy, life skills education, job skills evaluation and training along with GED assistance and ESOL.

Learn More


How to Help a Friend/Family Member Who Has Survived Sexual Assault

People who have experienced sexual assault have experienced a profound violation. Their sense of safety and predictability has been shattered. Survivors’ reactions may vary profoundly depending on their life circumstances and amount of social support. Before you start talking, try to understand what your friend is going through:

  • Remember that your friend has been through an emotionally painful, traumatic experience. Your friend may act differently after the assault. Some of your friend’s reactions may be hard to watch, but “being there” for your friend can help a lot.
  • Be patient and understanding. The trauma of a sexual assault does not go away quickly. It may take a while for your friend to recover. Sometimes friends and family members expect sexual assault survivors to be “over it” in a few weeks. Understand that the pain the survivor feels, and the symptoms, may last for a long time.

Here are some important tips for helping a friend if they have recently experienced a rape or sexual assault:

  • Be Supportive.  

  • Be aware of your own feelings about sexual abuse.  

  • Try to respond calmly, openly, and with understanding.   

  • Be Reassuring .  

  • Do not interrogate.

  • Let the individual know that you believe him/her.  

  • Commend the survivor for talking and reaching out for help.  

  • Respect the privacy of the survivor.

  •   Encourage Action.

  • Helpful Responses

  • Unhelpful Responses  

Resources for Men

Men can be Sexually Assaulted, too...

First, you should know that men can be assaulted, too.  If you have recently been assaulted and need immediate intervention, please go to the front page and follow the “less than 72 hours” guidelines.  The same resources are available to you –

  • In Lee County:  ACT (Abuse Counseling and Treatment) 239-939-3112
  • In Collier County:  Project HELP 239-262-7227

Understanding Sexual Assault of Men

Many people believe that sexual assault is only committed by men against women. The majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men, but the fact is that 1 out of every 10 men is sexually assaulted (this is a lifetime prevalence estimate). Because our society fails to see that men can be sexually assaulted, men often have a difficult time accepting their own victimization and delay seeking help and support. Sexual assault is not about sexual desire or sexual orientation; it's about violence, control, and humiliation.

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. It can be committed by the use of threats or force or when someone takes advantage of circumstances that render a person incapable of giving consent, such as intoxication. Rape of a man is any kind of sexual assault that involves forced oral or anal sex, including any amount of penetration of the anus or mouth with a body part or any other object.

Many people don't take sexual assault of men seriously. This is one of the reasons why men have a difficult time reporting what happened and why the rates of male sexual assault are thought to be significantly under-reported. If a male survivor's friends think that male sexual assault is a joke, he will feel isolated and afraid to tell anyone. Sexual assault is a painful, traumatic experience for any victim.

  • What are some of the feelings a male survivor may experience?  

  • How can I help a male friend who has been sexually assaulted?  

  •   Can a woman sexually assault a man?

  • Don’t men who get raped become rapists?  

  • If a man is raped by another man, does it mean the he is gay or will become gay?  

  • Is sexual assault different for gay and straight men?