If you are in danger, call 9-1-1.
If you believe that you have been a victim of sexual violence, please call us at 407-500-HEAL to discuss options for care and support.
To schedule an appointment please contact:
Orange County: (407) 254-9415
Osceola County: (407) 254-9415
Seminole County: (321) 972-4465
Intervening to Help a Friend
- If you see someone in danger of being assaulted, step in and offer assistance or create a diversion (ex. spill a drink, cut in on a dance, or interrupt the conversation) to make it easier for the prospective victim to walk away. NOTE: Before stepping in, make sure to evaluate the risk. If it means putting yourself in danger, call 911 instead.
- There is evidence that the mere presence of bystanders reduces crime and that criminals try to avoid being observed while committing crimes. If you are witnessing an uncomfortable situation, don’t leave the room and keep your eyes indirectly on the interaction.
- If you believe someone is dangerously intoxicated or has been drugged, do not leave them alone for any reason, get them immediate medical attention, and keep their beverage for drug testing.
- If someone you know has been assaulted, listen, be there, encourage your friend to report the crime to law enforcement (call 911 in most areas), and let them know that professional help is available at this website or by calling us at 407-500-HEAL.
- Become knowledgeable about the issue and share your knowledge with others. Let friends know what to look for in a potential offender and how to react if ever in a dangerous situation.
These resources are provided for informational purposes only, VSC does not endorse these organization. For personalized referrals please contact a Victim Advocate.
Sexual Violence Resources
- Children’s Advocacy Center – Crisis intervention, forensic exams and therapy for children under 12 in Orange and Osceola Counties. You can also report to the Florida abuse hotline, 1-800-96-ABUSE.
- Kid’s House – Crisis intervention, forensic exams and therapy for children under 18 in Seminole County.
- UCF Victim Services – They provide free, comprehensive victim advocacy services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus who have been impacted by crime, violence, or abuse and can also be reached at (407) 823-1200.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
- 800-656-HOPE (4673)
- National Sexual Assault Online Hotline – Chat online with a trained staff member who can provide you confidential crisis support.
- Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
- Harbor House of Central Florida – Assistance with immediate safety concerns, emergency sheltering, navigating the justice system and counseling services. They can also be reached 24/7 at (407) 886-2856.
- SafeHouse of Seminole – Assistance with immediate safety concerns, emergency sheltering, navigating the justice system and counseling services. They can also be reached at (407) 330-3933.
- Florida Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- 800-799-SAFE (7233)
- Heart of Florida United Way – United Way operates 2-1-1 which can be reached by phone, email, chat or text by sending your zip code by text to the number 898-211 to connect you with the best community resources to help with critical services including food banks, emergency housing, veteran services, and healthcare.
- Orlando United Assistance Center – The Orlando United Assistance Center is a place offering support, resources and hope for those impacted by the Pulse tragedy. They can also be reached at (407) 500-HOPE.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
- Understanding Suicide Prevention
- ChildHelp Hotline
- 1-800-4-A-CHILD (22-4453)
- National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)
Federal Government Information
- Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC)
- Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR)
Legal Resources & Information
What should I do if I have been sexually assaulted?
- Make sure you are in a safe environment. If you believe you are still in danger, call 911.
- Once you’re out of physical danger, contact someone you know and trust, such as a friend, relative, teacher, school counselor, friend’s parent, doctor or supportive adult.
- Call us for advice, support and help. We have trained, Master’s level crisis counselors available 24/7 to answer your questions and help you through the recovery process. You can reach us at 407-500-HEAL.
- If you are under 18, tell a trusted adult. (But remember, not every adult may be able to help. You may need to tell more than one person before you find someone who can help.) It’s important to be aware: if you disclose your identity and location and that you are being harmed, the person you tell may be required by state law to alert authorities.
- Consider reporting the attack to police. If you would like to report, call 911.
- While many survivors find pursuing justice an important part of their recovery process, only you can decide if it is the right choice for you. If you have questions about the process, call us and we can explain your options and what to expect.
- If you do plan to report the attack to police, or think there’s a chance you will want to in the future, write down all the details of the attack that you can remember — while the memory is still fresh.
- If you do report: Some prosecutions end in a plea agreement, without trial, which means that the victim does not have to testify. However if your case does go to trial, you will generally have to testify. If you are worried about having to testify, let the police or prosecutor know about your concerns. They can explain the laws in your state and help you understand what might happen if you do go to trial.
- Complete a forensic exam (sometimes called a “rape kit”).
- As the certified Rape Crisis Center serving Orange and Osceola Counties, our agency conducts the forensic examinations. Please call us at 407-500-HEAL to speak with a crisis counselor.
- After a sexual assault, there may be evidence of the attack left behind on the victim’s body and clothing. A forensic exam collects this evidence and documents the physical findings.
- It is important to have a forensic exam as soon as possible —while the evidence is still able to be collected, which is within 120 hours of the incident.
- Under federal law, you are entitled to receive a free forensic exam even if you do not report to the police.
- You can have the evidence collected first and then decide if you want to report to law enforcement at a later time.
- Don’t bathe or brush your teeth in order to preserve the forensic evidence.
The forensic exam involves collecting evidence of the attack, such as hairs, fluids and fibers, and preserving the evidence for forensic analysis. If you suspect you may have been drugged, let the SANE know during the forensic exam.
- Medical considerations:
There are medical concerns that arise both immediately following the assault and much later. Even with no visible physical injuries, it is important to be tested for STIs and pregnancy.
- VSC can provide you with free antibiotics for STIs as well as help you to arrange follow-up testing.
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends post-exposure HIV prophylaxis for victims of sexual assault (prophylaxis is treatment meant to prevent, rather than treat or cure, a disease). VSC can provide you with referrals for testing.
- CDC recommends follow-up testing as well as other blood tests to rule out HIV at two weeks, six weeks, three months and six months after an assault.
- Rape, just like consensual intercourse, can lead to pregnancy. Therefore, it is important for female victims to be tested after an assault.
I didn’t resist physically — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault?
- People respond to an assault in different ways. Just because you didn’t resist physically doesn’t mean it wasn’t sexual assault— in fact, many victims make the conscious decision that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent. Lack of consent can be expressed (saying “no”) or it can be implied from the circumstances (for example, if you were under the statutory age of consent, if you were temporarily incapacitated, or if you were afraid to object because the perpetrator threatened to harm you or a loved one).
I used to date the person who assaulted me — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault?
- Sexual assault can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship (sometimes called “date rape” or “acquaintance rape”), or even when the offender is a victim’s spouse. It does not matter whether the other person is an ex-lover or a complete stranger, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex in the past.
I don’t remember the assault — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault?
- Just because you don’t remember being assaulted doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen and that it wasn’t rape. Memory loss can result from the ingestion of GHB and other “rape drugs,” and from excessive alcohol consumption. Note, without clear memories or physical evidence, it may be more difficult to pursue prosecution (talk to us or your local police for guidance).
I was asleep or unconscious when it happened — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault?
- If you were asleep or unconscious, then you didn’t give consent. Note, though, that without clear memories or physical evidence, it may be more difficult to pursue prosecution (talk to us or your local police for guidance).
I was drunk or he/she was drunk — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault?
- Alcohol and drugs are not an excuse — or an alibi. The key question is still: did you consent or not? Regardless of whether you were drunk or sober, if the sex is nonconsensual, it is rape. If you were unconscious due to drug or alcohol consumption, that means you were unable to give consent.
I thought “no,” but didn’t say it — does that mean it isn’t sexual assault?
- It depends on the circumstances. If you didn’t say “no” because you were legitimately scared for your life or safety, then it may be rape. Sometimes it isn’t safe to resist, physically or verbally.