What resources are there to help me heal from a sexual assault?

You can call a confidential sexual assault resource hotline. These hotlines are staffed by trained volunteers that can listen to you, provide you with information and resources, and help you decide what to do next. Every county in Washington has a sexual assault resource hotline. You can find the information for your county at the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (“WCSAP”) by clicking on the “Find Help in Your Community” button. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (toll-free, 24/7) and they will connect you with your local hotline. All hotlines listed by WCSAP are free and confidential. You can contact your school’s counseling center, if they have one, for free and confidential professional help. Consider asking for someone who is specifically trained to help those who have experienced sexual violence. It’s okay to advocate for yourself if you do not feel comfortable with a given therapist. You can also ask to see a psychiatrist. You have options and you deserve a comfortable, safe space to receive counseling. Professionals are there to help support you. You can also prioritize yourself and your emotional, physical, and mental health through self-care. If you are unsure where to start, RAINN has helpful resources, or you can speak with a trained professional on the RAINN Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. For more ideas, Teen Vogue has a helpful article on the topic. Visit our Resources page for lists of university-specific, Washington State, and national resources.

What if I want financial help to pay for counseling?

You may be able to get financial help to pay for counseling or other things you need through the Washington State Office of Crime Victim’s Compensation. If you have reported the crime to the police you may be eligible for money to help cover counseling, medical, and other expenses. Advocates at your school can give you more information, or you can find out more from by going to the Washington State website on Crime Victim’s Compensation. An advocate assigned to your criminal case through the prosecutor’s office or police department are also good resources for information about this specific resource for crime victims. Crime Victim’s Compensation is a valuable, but limited, resource. For medical care and counseling, Crime Victim’s Compensation will require your insurance (public and/or private) to be applied first, and then any remaining costs may be covered by the Crime Victim’s Compensation program. One exception is that the law requires Crime Victim’s Compensation to pay for sexual assault examinations when they are done to gather evidence for a possible prosecution. You do not have pay for the exam, use your own insurance, or even file a police report in order to have the exam paid for.

Do I need legal help?

The Take Legal Action section of this website gives you more information about your legal rights. You do not have to have a lawyer to take action, but it can be helpful to talk to a lawyer about your options. This is true especially if you feel that your school did not protect you, or if you want to get additional protections, such as a sexual assault protection order, against the person who assaulted you.

If the person who assaulted me is being prosecuted by the state, is the prosecutor my lawyer?

If criminal charges have been filed against the person who assaulted you, it is important that you understand that the prosecutor is not your lawyer. The prosecutor represents the state. This is not the same as having a lawyer who represents you, who must keep your information confidential, gives you confidential advice, and argues in court for your interests. Prosecutors and victim advocates in prosecutors’ offices will explain this to you, and will work with you to support you through the court process, but this is not the same as being represented by your own lawyer. Generally, you don’t need a lawyer when you are the victim in a prosecution, but there may be some instances where you do. For example, if a defense attorney is seeking private information about you, such as counseling records, a lawyer can help you ask the court to protect information you want to keep private. For help in such situations, contact: Sexual Violence Legal Services
Phone: 844-999-7857(SVLS) or 206-832-3620 (local) Hours: Open weekdays
or CLEAR Hotline
Phone: 1-888-201-1014 Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:15 am–12:15 pm

Where can I get legal help?

Sexual Violence Legal Services: Legal representation for sexual assault survivors who live in Washington State.
Phone: 1-844-999-7857(SVLS)
CLEAR Hotline: Serves people who are low-income living in Washington State; provides help with civil legal needs, including protection orders, housing, public benefits, family law, and more.
Phone: 1-888-201-1014
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:15 am to 12:15 pm Washington Information Network 2-1-1: For health and human service information and referrals and other assistance to meet your needs, including legal services.
Phone: Dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-9274 SurvJustice: National organization that provides legal representation in campus sexual assault complaints, civil lawsuits, and more.
Phone: 202-869-0699 King County LGBTQ Legal Clinic: 30-minute consultations by appointment only on a variety of legal topics.
Phone: 206-267-7070
MAPS-MCRC Legal Clinic: 30-minute consultations by appointment only on a variety of legal topics. Clinic held at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound in Redmond. Northwest Immigrant’s Rights Project: For immigration representation, including immigration relief for victims of violence. • Legal Voice’s publication, How to Find a Lawyer, contains additional Washington State resources.

Emotional, Financial & Legal Help

You may find it helpful to reach out to your friends or loved ones for support. These are your experiences, and you can control how much or how little you wish to share. Try to think about what you need and what you’d like to ask for from the people who care about you.