Emotions & Self-Care
- Counselor / Therapist / Psychologist: It's okay to seek outside support, and you can talk to a professional therapist, counselor, or psychologist through USC or the local community. Students can use Counseling Services free of charge. Learn more about Support from USC.
- Crisis Centers: Crisis centers are places dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault or abuse and often provide counseling, support programs, legal referrals, and access to advocates (also called Rape Crisis Centers). Find a center near you: Support In the Area.
- Advocates: Sometimes called survivor advocates or victim advocates, these are compassionate allies who can support you by accompanying you to a medical or forensic exam, explaining your reporting options, helping you find support services, and referring you to legal resources. Connect with the local crisis center in your area to talk to an advocate.
Common Emotional Responses:
There is no right or wrong emotional response to an experience of unwanted sexual contact; each person will have their own reaction. It’s common to experience a mix of emotions and feelings, like sadness, anger, confusion, shame, or uncertainty of what to do next. It can be useful to seek support and practice active self-care to aid the healing process. Below are some tips and reminders for taking care of yourself throughout your process.
Self-care is an important part of healing. While you may feel pressure from others to respond in a certain way, your only obligation is to your own healing. You are in the best position to know what you need.
- Check in with yourself about your sleeping, eating, exercise, and substance use patterns. Your physical health is directly connected to your emotional well-being. If you feel tired or emotionally drained, consider incorporating meditation or other relaxation practices into your daily routine.
- Processing what happened in a safe environment is important; if you do not feel safe in your school environment due to ongoing contact with the perpetrator, you have the right to change your housing accommodations or class schedule. Read more about College Policies and Your Title IX Rights.
Remember that you are not alone, and it's okay to seek out support, whether through friends, an advocate, online communities, a crisis center, or a counselor or therapist.Back to top
Support from USC
USC offers confidential and private resources that can provide support outside of speaking with the Title IX Office through Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP).Back to top
Support in the Area
For immediate medical support after an assault, you can visit Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center
Visit RSVP's website for more information on how to speak with a confidential counselor to guide you through this process, request an advocate accompaniment to the center, and additional off-campus resources.Back to top
Nationally & Globally
Nonconsensual or unwanted sexual contact is never okay, regardless of the state or country in which it occurs. Below are resources to find information and support nationally and internationally.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
RAINN is the largest US network supporting survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and offers a free, completely anonymous and confidential 24/7 online chat service that you can access from anywhere around the globe. Chat with a trained RAINN support specialist anytime at online.rainn.org. Learn more at the RAINN resources website.
- Hours: 24/7
- Email: [email protected]
- Hotline: (not available outside of the US) 1-(800)-656-4673
- Online Chat
U.S. Department of State - Office of Overseas Citizens Services
The State Department can help you contact family or friends, obtain medical care, address emergency needs, understand the local criminal justice process and connect with local and/or US-based resources for victims of crime, including local legal representation. The first step is often connecting with the local US consulate or embassy.
- If calling from the US or Canada: 1-(888)-407-4747
- If calling from overseas: +1-(202)-501-4444
- Locate the nearest Embassy or Consulate