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Sexual Assault


Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact made by another person. You may not agree to the contact, or you may agree to it because you are pressured, forced, or threatened. Sexual assault can include touching your genital areas (vagina or penis), or rape. Rape is when a man's penis enters the vagina of a female, or the anus or mouth of a male or female. Sexual assault is not your fault. The attacker is always at fault.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have thoughts of harming yourself.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have pain in your abdomen or pelvic area.
  • You are taking medicines and cannot stop vomiting.
  • You feel very sad and think you cannot cope with what happened to you.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have vaginal discharge that is different from normal.
  • You have fatigue, a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes (glands in your neck), and a rash.
  • You think you are pregnant.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics help prevent or treat sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria. These medicines can help prevent gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Take them as directed.
  • HIV prevention medicines must be taken for up to 28 days. You must not miss any doses.
  • Emergency contraceptive medicine help prevent pregnancy. Take them as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Seek support or counseling:

It may take time to heal from the emotional harm from a sexual assault. It is common to have many feelings, including fear, anxiety, or anger. It may help to find someone to help you work through these feelings. Ask for resources and therapists that work with sexual assault survivors in your area. It may help if you can stay with a family member or friend, or have them stay with you for a few days.

Follow up with your doctor within 1 to 2 weeks:

You may need to return to have tests to see if you are pregnant or have an STI, such as syphilis or HIV. If you received a hepatitis B vaccine after your assault, you will need follow-up doses. You will need the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first dose. You will need the third dose 4 to 6 months after the first dose. You need all 3 doses for the vaccine to work. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

For support and more information:

  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
    2000 L Street NW
    Washington , DC 20036
    2000 L Street NW
    Washington , DC 20036
    Phone: 1- 1800 - 656- 4673
    Web Address:

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.