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You do not have to go through the trauma of sexual violence alone.

Our Survivor Support Services counselors are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and can provide a wide array of services in Chemung, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Warren and Washington counties.

No matter what county you live in, we are here to help and referrals are available for other areas of New York State.

Hotlines by County

Sexual Assault Resource Center

Serving Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben county

Victim Advocacy Services

Serving Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington county

Victim Advocacy Services

Serving Schenectady and Schoharie county

We’re here with you. 

We are taking necessary precautions to protect our clients’ and staff members’ safety during the COVID crisis. 

We are currently offering our survivor support services in-person or virtually and advocates are always available through our 24-hour hotlines. 

Short-term counseling is available for both victims and their loved ones. All counseling is free and confidential.
 

Support services include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Information on victims’ legal rights and protections
  • Help with the criminal justice process
  • Emotional support
  • Help with safety planning
  • Help preparing victim impact statements for courts and parole boards
  • Intervention with creditors, landlords, and employers on behalf of the victim
  • Help finding shelter and transportation
  • Referrals to other services
  • Assistance with compensation applications
  • Information on sexual assault prevention
  • Support groups
  • Prevention education and professional training

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if it happens to me?

Get to a safe place. If you are in immediate danger, do anything you can to get away, and if possible, contact emergency services and first responders for immediate assistance and help. 

Preserve evidence. It may be very difficult for you not to bathe, shower, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom, but your body contains crucial evidence in which can be collected during a medical visit at the hospital.

Seek medical attention. You need to be:

  • checked for injuries, both external and internal
  • tested for and offered treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV
  • offered emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy

Contact Survivor Support Services and request that an advocate meet you at the hospital. An advocate will be able to answer many of the questions you may have, inform you of the choices you have in deciding on medical treatment, and wait with you while at the hospital to ensure that you receive the best medical treatment possible after an assault.

Decide whether to press charges. An advocate will provide you with information you will need to navigate the legal process if you decide to make a police report.

There are two situations when law enforcement must be involved in a sexual violence case:

  • When a weapon was used
  • When a child was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of their parent, guardian or a caregiver

If neither situation exists, then the decision whether to make a report and press charges is up to the victim.

NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) provides reimbursement for eligible expenses you may have as a result of this crime. One of our Survivor Support Services advocates can assist you in completing the application for this reimbursement.

Remember – It was not your fault. It is never too late to get help. Healing from sexual violence takes time. Seek help from supportive friends, family, and advocates with Survivor Support Services at PPGNY.

What should I do if I suspect a child is being abused?

Reacting to child sexual abuse

Most sexually abused children are hesitant to disclose the abuse.  In fact, most disclosures happen accidentally.  If a child confesses sexual abuse to you:

  • Believe the child. Children rarely lie about sexual abuse.
  • Don't over-react, under-react or minimize the situation. 
  • Praise the child for telling you.
  • Reassure the child that he or she is not to blame.
  • Show respect for the child.
  • Express your love for and confidence in the child.

Reporting child sexual abuse

If the child was abused by someone in their family or household, make a report as soon as possible to the child abuse hotline at the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Reporting Center. The number is 1-800-342-3720. If you are a mandated reporter, call the hotline at 1-800-635-1522. They will notify the local Child Protective Services (CPS), who will investigate and take needed action to protect the child.

If the abuse was by someone outside of the family and household, report to the local or state police or sheriff’s department.

Recognizing Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can range from non-touching offenses such as exhibitionism, to fondling, intercourse, or use of a child in the production of pornographic materials.

Symptoms of sexual abuse may include physical and behavioral signs, as well as indirect comments made by the child. There are several clues to look for when considering the possibility of child sexual abuse.

Physical indicators of child sexual abuse:

  • Difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Pain or itching in genital area
  • Bruises or bleeding in genital, vaginal, or anal area
  • Venereal disease, especially in pre-teens

Behavioral indicators of sexual abuse:

  • Unwillingness to change for or participate in gym class
  • Sudden, unusual difficulty with toilet habits
  • Regression to infantile behavior
  • Withdrawing from activities the child once enjoyed
  • Bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual behavior or knowledge
  • Poor peer relationships
  • Reports sexual assault
What should I do if a family member or friend has been victimized?

Listen. Believe what your friend or loved one tells you. Encourage them to seek medical attention immediately. They need to be:

  • checked for injuries, both external and internal
  • tested and offered treatment for STDs and HIV
  • offered emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy

Tell your friend or loved one that help is available through Survivor Support Services by calling one of our 24/7 confidential hotlines. An advocate on-call will provide support and explain their options regarding medical treatment and reporting to law enforcement.

Be patient. Let your friend or loved one know that it was not his or her fault.

Call us for information on how you can continue to be a support to your friend or loved one.