Seeking Help After Trauma
Sharing Your Story

Question

If I want to seek professional help for my experiences, what are my options?

Answer

Thank you so much for joining us on this FAQ journey. As we finish this series, we want to remind you about all of the professional options available to you to help in your healing journey. Remember that this process is different for everyone and not everyone chooses to engage in formal services. Rape Crisis Center--these centers are community-based organizations that provide free, confidential services to anyone impacted by sexual violence. Their services can range from intervention, prevention, advocacy, counseling, and education. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)--these nurses have received special training to conduct sexual assault evidence collection for survivors. SANEs are trained in providing medical, psychological, and forensic exams. These individuals are on-call 24 hours a day and are available whether or not you are sure you want to report. Mental health counselor--these counselors help patients achieve emotional wellness through curated treatment plans. Finding the right counselor can be difficult. As you research local options, it is important to know what you are looking for in treatment, what type of specialist you would like to see, and remember, it isn’t always a perfect match on the first try. Reporting--you can report your experience as a crime to local law enforcement via 800.656.HOPE (4673), contacting your local police department, or visiting a medical center or hospital for an exam. Restorative justice options--this can occur both within or outside the legal system. Under a restorative justice approach, if your perpetrator admits wrongdoing, you can go through a restorative process with a trained facilitator to explain the impact of their actions and set benchmarks they can work towards to repair harm. Professional services are not for everyone. If you decide you aren’t ready to share your story with anyone out loud yet, consider sharing your story with us at Our Wave (www.ourwave.org). Whatever you choose, know that we’re right by your side. You’ve got this. Healing is possible.

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