How To Support a Victim of Sexual Assault

Your Support Matters

If someone you know is a victim or survivor of sexual violence, your support can be a critical part of their healing. After the violence, some victims are very emotional and some are numb initially. The experience of sexual violence can have different meanings for each person. There is no “right” way to act after experiencing sexual violence.

The effects of sexual violence may be felt directly after, or for many months or years later. The trauma of sexual violence can cause feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, as well as physical symptoms such as breathing problems, vomiting, or nightmares. Research has also found that trauma can affect the way the brain recalls memories and events.

You may never know exactly how someone is effected by sexual violence, but you can listen, believe, validate, and be supportive.

Getting Started

Listen
Healing takes time. Talking about the violence can help in the healing process. They may need to tell you about the experience over and over again. Respect their pace, be patient, and listen to their story in a safe and private place.

Believe
When someone shares their experience of sexual violence, being believed helps in the healing process. They need to know that you believe what happened to them. It is rare that people make up stories about sexual violence.

Validate
Acknowledge feelings of sadness, anger, fear, shame, guilt, confusion, or other feelings they may be having. These are all very normal feelings after experiencing sexual violence. Let them know that no one deserves to be sexually assaulted and it is not their fault.

Support
Ask how you can best support them. Let them decide what they feel they need from you for support. Do not tell them what to do, make decisions for them, or tell them what you would have done. Let them know you support them now and in the future.

Ways You Can Help:

  • Do not blame or judge them for the sexual violence. Remember, it is not their fault under any circumstance.
  • Keep their information private. Do not tell others about their experience without their permission.
  • Respect their right to decide who to tell (or not tell) about the sexual violence.
  • Accept and support their decision about reporting to law enforcement and whether or not to particiate in a criminal investigation.
  • Only give advice if and when they ask for it.
  • Remind them that they are not alone and there is help available.
  • Avoid treating them like a helpless victim.
  • Help them identify support systems and provide information on community resources.
  • Offer to go with them if they choose to go to the hospital for medical care or to the police department.

To Report or To Not Report

Reporting a sexual assault to law enforcement is a very personal decision that victims will need to make for themselves. If they decide not to report, they are still fully entitled to advocacy services and medical care.

Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Programs can help victims and survivors of sexual violence consider all options available to them, provide information on what to expect from the criminal justice system, and provide ongoing support regardless of whether they report the crime or not.

Hospital Response

Whether or not a victim or survivor reports the sexual violence to law enforcement, they have the right to a sexual assault medical forensic exam. There are two primary purposes of the sexual assault medical forensic exam: 1) to provide medical care and treatment; and 2) to collect evidence related to the sexual assault. Although medical professionals who complete the exam are often well-trained, the process can be uncomfortable. Support is important and they may need you to be there.

Law Enforcement Response

If the sexual assault is reported to law enforcement, an officer will need to ask questions about the assault. Some questions may be very difficult to answer and may not make sense at the time they are asked, but there is a reason for them. It is not unusual for law enforcement to contact a victim or survivor numerous times during the course of an investigation. Once law enforcement completes the investigation, they will send the investigative report to the county or district attorney (prosecutor) for review.

Prosecutor Response

The county or district attorney (prosecutor) determines if there is enough evidence to move forward with prosecution. There can be a long period of time between when the sexual assault occurred and when the prosecutor makes a decision. It sometimes seems that just as a victim or survivor begins to heal, they are thrown back into the middle of the trauma because of a court hearing or trial. Victims and survivors have a legal right to certain information and may find it important to know about their court case and proceedings. Most prosecutors have Victim Witness Coordinators who can help get this information.

Advocate Response

Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Programs can provide the support and help victims and survivors often need in the healing process. These programs offer services 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Services include crisis hotlines, crisis intervention, personal advocacy, medical advocacy, court advocacy, law enforcement advocacy, emergency accommodations, safe shelter, supportive counseling, support groups, and child and youth advocacy.

All of these services are free and confidential. Any information shared with a Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Program is kept private and cannot be shared with anyone outside the organization, unless:

  • The program is required to disclose the information by law.
  • The victim or survivor signs an informed, written, time-limited release allowing them to disclose the information.

For 24/7 support, contact:
Kansas Crisis Hotline
1-888-END-ABUSE (1-888-363-2287)

To find the Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Program nearest you, see "Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Programs and Crisis Numbers by City" or "Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Program Map and List" below.

Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Programs and Crisis Numbers by City

City: Dodge City
Program Name: Crisis Center of Dodge City
Counties Served: Clark, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Meade
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://dodgecitycrisiscenter.com
Crisis Hotline Number: 620-225-6510 or 1-866-270-2270

City: El Dorado
Program Name: Family Life Center Safe House
Counties Served: Butler
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/flcsafehouse/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-870-6967 or 316-321-7104

City: Emporia
Program Name: SOS, Inc.
Counties Served: Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://soskansas.com/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-825-1295 or 620-342-1870

City: Garden City
Program Name: Family Crisis Services
Counties Served: Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Lane, Scott, Wichita
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.familycrisisservices.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 620-275-5911

City: Great Bend
Program Name: Family Crisis Center, Inc.
Counties Served: Barber, Barton, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, Stafford
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.familycrisiscntr.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 866-792-1885 or 620-792-1885

City: Hays
Program Name: Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc.
Counties Served: Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, Wallace
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.help4abuse.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-794-4624 or 785-625-3055

City: Hutchinson
Program Name: Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center
Counties Served: Harper, Kingman, Reno, Rice
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.sadvchutch.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-701-3630 or 620-663-2522

City: Iola
Program Name: Hope Unlimited
Counties Served: Allen, Anderson, Neosho, Woodson
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.hope-unlimited.org/index.html
Crisis Hotline Number: 620-365-7566

City: Kansas City
Program Name: Friends of Yates - Della Gill/Joyce H. Williams Center
Counties Served: Wyandotte
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: http://www.friendsofyates.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 913-321-0951

City: Kansas City
Program Name: SAFEHOME
Counties Served: Johnson, Miami
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: http://www.safehome-ks.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 888-432-4300 or 913-262-2868

City: Kansas City
Program Name: MOCSA
Counties Served: Johnson, Miami, Wyandotte
Services: Sexual Assault
Website: http://mocsa.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 913-642-0233 or 816-531-0233

City: Kansas City
Program Name: Mattie Rhodes Center ¡Si Se Puede!
Counties Served: Johnson, Wyandotte
Services: Domestic Violence- therapy, service coordination, legal advocacy, staff speak Spanish
Website: http://www.mattierhodes.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 816-241-3780 (not a crisis line)

City: Kansas City
Program Name: Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (LGBT services)
Counties Served: Johnson, Miami, Wyandotte
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.kcavp.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 816-561-0550

City: Lawrence
Program Name: The Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center
Counties Served: Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson
Services: Sexual Assault
Website: http://stacarecenter.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 785-843-8985

City: Lawrence
Program Name: The Willow Domestic Violence Center
Counties Served: Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: http://www.willowdvcenter.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-770-3030 or 785-843-3333

City: Leavenworth
Program Name: Alliance Against Family Violence (TEMPORARY CLOSURE)
Call the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-363-2287
Counties Served: Leavenworth
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.aafv.net/
Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-363-2287

City: Liberal
Program Name: LARC/DVS, Inc.
Counties Served: Grant, Haskell, Morton, Seward, Stanton, Stevens
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.larcdvs.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 888-417-7273 or 620-624-8818

City: Manhattan
Program Name:The Crisis Center, Inc.
Counties Served: Clay, Geary, Marshall, Pottawatomie, Riley
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.thecrisiscenterinc.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-727-2785 or 785-539-2785

City: Mayetta
Program Name: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation - Tribal Victims Services Program
Counties Served: Tribal Members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.pbpindiantribe.com/social-services.aspx
Crisis Hotline Number: 866-966-0173 or 785-966-8330

City: Newton
Program Name: Safehope, Inc.
Counties Served: Harvey, Marion, McPherson
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.safehope.net//
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-487-0510 or 316-803-1800

City: Pittsburg
Program Name: Safehouse Crisis Center, Inc.
Counties Served: Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Wilson
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.safehousecrisiscenter.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-794-9148 or 620-231-8251

City: Salina
Program Name:Domestic Violence Assoc. of Central Kansas
Counties Served: Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline, Washington
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.dvack.org/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-874-1499 or 785-827-5862

City: Topeka
Program Name: YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment
Counties Served: Jackson, Shawnee, Wabaunsee
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://www.ywcaneks.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 888-822-2983 or 785-354-7927

City: Wichita
Program Name: Catholic Charities Harbor House
Counties Served: Sedgwick
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: http://www.catholicdioceseofwichita.org/family-stabilization/harbor-house
Crisis Hotline Number: 866-899-5522 or 316-263-6000

City: Wichita
Program Name: StepStone
Counties Served: Sedgwick
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: http://www.stepstoneks.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 316-265-1611

City: Wichita
Program Name: Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center
Counties Served: Sedgwick
Services: Sexual Assault
Website: http://wichitasac.com
Crisis Hotline Number: 877-927-2248 or 316-263-3002 o español: 316-263-2044

City: Wichita
Program Name: Wichita Family Crisis Center
Counties Served: Sedgwick
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: http://www.wichitafamilycrisiscenter.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 316-267-7233


If you are in need of advocacy services and do not find your community listed, call the 24/7 Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287.

Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Program Map and List

Programs are listed below the map, alphabetically by city. You do not have to live in the city where the program is located to use their services. If you are in need of advocacy services and do not find your community listed, call the 24/7 Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287.


1. Crisis Center of Dodge City

City: Dodge City, Kansas 
Counties Served: Clark, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Meade
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: http://dodgecitycrisiscenter.com/
Crisis Hotline Number: 620-225-6510 or 1-866-270-2270

 

Back to map



2. Family Life Center Safe House

City: El Dorado, Kansas 
Counties Served: Butler, Chautauqua and Elk
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: https://www.familylifecentersafehouse.com/
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-870-6967 or 316-321-7104

 

Back to map



3. SOS, Inc.

City: Emporia, Kansas 
Counties Served: Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.soskansas.com
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-825-1295 or 620-342-1870

 

Back to map



4. Family Crisis Services

City: Garden City, Kansas 
Counties Served: Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Lane, Scott, Wichita
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Crisis Hotline Number: 620-275-5911

 

Back to map



5. Family Crisis Center, Inc.

City: Great Bend, Kansas 
Counties Served: Barber, Barton, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, Stafford
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.familycrisiscntr.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 866-792-1885 or 620-792-1885

 

Back to map



6. Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc.

City: Hays, Kansas 
Counties Served: Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, Wallace
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.help4abuse.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-794-4624 or 785-625-4202

 

Back to map



7. Brighthouse

City: Hutchinson, Kansas 
Counties Served: Harper, Kingman, Reno, Rice
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.brighthouseks.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-701-3630 or 620-663-2522

 

Back to map



8. Hope Unlimited

City: Iola, Kansas
Counties Served: Allen, Anderson, Neosho, Woodson
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.hope-unlimited.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 620-365-7566

 

Back to map



9. Friends of Yates - Della Gill/Joyce H. Williams Center

City: Kansas City, Kansas 
Counties Served: Wyandotte
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: www.friendsofyates.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 913-321-0951

 

Back to map



10. SAFEHOME

City: Kansas City, Kansas 
Counties Served: Johnson, Miami
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: www.safehome-ks.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 888-432-4300 or 913-262-2868

 

Back to map



11. MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault)

City: Kansas City, Kansas 
Counties Served: Johnson, Miami, Wyandotte
Services: Sexual Assault
Website: www.mocsa.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 913-642-0233 or 816-531-0233

 

Back to map

 



12. Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (LGBT services)

City: Kansas City, Kansas 
Counties Served: Johnson, Miami, Wyandotte
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.kcavp.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 816-561-0550

 

Back to map



13. The Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center

City: Lawrence, Kansas 
Counties Served: Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson
Services: Sexual Assault
Website: http://stacarecenter.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 785-843-8985

 

Back to map



14. The Willow Domestic Violence Center

City: Lawrence, Kansas
Counties Served: Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: www.willowdvcenter.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-770-3030 or 785-843-3333

 

Back to map



15. Alliance Against Family Violence (TEMPORARY CLOSURE)
Call the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-363-2287 

City: Leavenworth, Kansas 
Counties Served: Leavenworth
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.aafv1984.com
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-644-1441 or 913-682-9131 Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-363-2287

 

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16. LARC/DVS, Inc.

City: Liberal, Kansas 
Counties Served: Grant, Haskell, Morton, Seward, Stanton, Stevens
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.larcdvs.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 888-417-7273 or 620-624-8818

 

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17. The Crisis Center, Inc.

City: Manhattan, Kansas 
Counties Served: Clay, Geary, Marshall, Pottawatomie, Riley
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.thecrisiscenterinc.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-727-2785 or 785-539-2785

 

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18. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBP Nation) - Tribal Victims Services Program

City: Mayetta, Kansas
Counties Served: Tribal Members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.pbpindiantribe.com/social-services.aspx
Crisis Hotline Number: 866-966-0173 or 785-966-8330

 

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19. Safehope, Inc.

City: Newton, Kansas 
Counties Served: Harvey, Marion, McPherson
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.safehope.net
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-487-0510 or 316-283-0350

 

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20. Safehouse Crisis Center, Inc.

City: Pittsburg, Kansas 
Counties Served: Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Wilson
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.safehousecrisiscenter.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-794-9148 or 620-231-8251

 

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21. Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas

City: Salina, Kansas 
Counties Served: Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline, Washington
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.dvack.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 800-874-1499 or 785-827-5862

 

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22. YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment (YWCA CSE)

City: Topeka, Kansas 
Counties Served: Jackson, Shawnee, Wabaunsee
Services: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Website: www.ywcatopeka.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 888-822-2983 or 785-354-7927

 

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23. Catholic Charities Harbor House

City: Wichita, Kansas 
Counties Served: Sedgwick
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: catholicdioceseofwichita.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 866-899-5522 or 316-263-6000

 

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24. StepStone, Inc. 

City: Wichita, Kansas 
Counties Served: Sedgwick
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: www.stepstoneks.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 316-265-1611

 

Back to map



25. Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC)

City: Wichita, Kansas 
Counties Served: Cowley, Sedgwick, Sumner
Services: Sexual Assault
Website: www.wichitasac.com
Crisis Hotline Number: 877-927-2248 or 316-263-3002 o español: 316-263-2044

 

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26. Wichita Family Crisis Center, Inc. 

City: Wichita, Kansas 
Counties Served: Cowley, Sedgwick, Sumner
Services: Domestic Violence
Website: wichitafamilycrisiscenter.org
Crisis Hotline Number: 316-267-7233

 

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* No accredited services in this area. Call one of the neighboring programs or the 24/7 Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287.

 

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Updated: 10/08/2018

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