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

Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) counselors are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and can provide a wide array of services in Chemung, Schuyler, & Steuben counties.

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

  • 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
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.

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 of the attack and the attacker.

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 SARC and request that a counselor/advocate meet you at the hospital. The counselor/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. The Rape Crisis counselor 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 or guardian

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. A Rape Crisis counselor will 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 rape takes time. Seek help from supportive friends, family, and counselors at the Sexual Assault Resource Center.

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 his/her family or household, make a report 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 the Sexual Assault Resource Center by calling 1-888-810-0093. A counselor 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.

You are not alone.

If you are facing the trauma of sexual violence - call our hotline today. We provide a wide array of services and are here to help.

SARC offers free & confidential services

24 hours a day & 7 days a week, to ALL survivors of sexual violence in Chemung, Schuyler, & Steuben counties. 

Call 1-888-810-0093

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