Sexual Assault Resources

This list of resources has been compiled to help those affected by rape and sexual assault, with additional educational resources for people supporting them. We will continue to update the sections of this list with new links as we find them.

Contents
  • Get help right now: phone numbers to call
  • If you need help yourself
  • If you want to help someone else*
  • Instagram accounts
  • Books
  • Articles*
  • Podcasts*
  • Watch*
  • Websites
  • Legal Advice

*these sections contain links to personal accounts of sexual assault that might be triggering. Please visit this link for tips by RAINN for consuming media as a survivor.


What’s it like phoning a rape crisis helpline? If you are worried about calling a helpline, or don’t know what to expect, you can find out here

UK

0808 802 9999 – National Rape Crisis Helpline (England and Wales)
0808 800 5005 – National Male Survivor Helpline (England and Wales)
0808 801 0302 – Rape Crisis Helpline (Scotland)

  • UK national helplines (x)
  • Find your nearest crisis centre England and Wales or Scotland
  • Find your nearest UK NHS sexual assault referral centre (SARC) (x)
  • Getting help for Domestic violence and abuse (x)
USA

1-800-656-4673 – RAINN
1-888-843-4564 – LGBT National Hotline

  • USA national helplines (x)
  • Hotlines compiled by The Left Ear (x)

What to do

If you have been sexually assaulted, whether as an adult or a young person, it is important to remember that it wasn’t your fault. Sexual violence is a crime, no matter who commits it or where it happens. Don’t be afraid to get help.NHS help

Reporting
You don’t have to report what happened, but if you’d like more information on how to report in the UK then you can find out here

  • Have you been sexually harassed, assaulted or raped at university? (x)
  • Are you facing harassment or discrimination at work? (x) / (x)

Spiking
If you think you’ve been spiked and/or assaulted, someone you trust should take you to your nearest A&E department. Tell the medical staff that you think your drink’s been spiked. Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours (the date rape drug GHB leaves the body within 12 hours), so it’s important to be tested as soon as possible. More info (x)

What to do if you are abroad
If you are a British national and have been affected by sexual assault abroad, click here for information and guidance on what to do and who to contact, including how to access medical treatment and legal advice in the UK. Visit Rape Crisis Network Europe (x)


Sharing your story

  • If you’re experiencing self-doubt (x)
  • How to talk to your family, if you’re ready to (x)
  • And a note for if you’re not ready to talk (x)

Caring for yourself

Comprehensive list of websites and resources offering support here


How to support someone else

  • How to talk to survivors (x)
  • How to help a partner (x)
  • How to help a friend (x)
  • How to support survivors (x)
  • How can you help sexual assault victims online? (x)
  • Identifying drug-facilitated sexual assault (x)
  • Understanding the effects of rape (x)
  • A guide for friends and family of sexual violence survivors (x)
  • A guide for parents about sexual abuse (x) and responding to it (x)
  • If a child tells you about abuse (x)
  • How to help if your partner was sexually abused as a child (x)

Educational resources and mythbusting

Definitions and statistics are useful to understand if you’re supporting someone who’s shared their story with you. Here is a list of resources to help address common myths and answer any questions you might have. Some of these links contain personal accounts that might be triggering or upsetting.

  • Definitions of sexual violence (x)
  • What is consent? NHS (x)
  • What is stealthing? (x) / (x)
  • What is upskirting? (x)
  • What is image-based sexual abuse? (x)
  • What is rape culture and victim blaming? (x)
  • Drink spiking and date rape drugs (x)
  • Dating apps and sexual assault (x)
  • If you think ‘provocative’ clothes determine consent (they don’t) (x)
  • If you’re wondering why victims may not come forward immediately (x) / (x)
  • If you ask why victims don’t report their assaults (x)
  • Why we often don’t believe women who report sexual assault (x)
  • If you believe innocence until proven guilty – it is possible to believe women and seek due process at the same time (x)
  • Why we should believe survivors (x)
  • Old enough to know better? 16-17 year olds and sexual exploitation (x)
  • People often defend an alleged rapist’s character. Here’s why you should doubt them (x)
  • False accusations: Men are more likely to be raped than be falsely accused of rape (x)
  • Why Men Still Defend Sexual Predators and Fight the #MeToo Movement (x)
  • Still Doubt Online Harassment Is Real? Read @SheRatesDogs (x)

Understanding the effects of sexual assault

  • FAQs and Mythbusting (x)
  • What are the effects of sexual assault? (x)
  • Understanding the effects of sexual violence (x)
  • Realities of recovering from sexual assault that are not talked about @niceforwhatmvmt (x)

Sometimes, reading articles and books can be an overwhelming source of information, and in some cases an inaccessible resource. Following Instagram accounts can be a helpful means to bring easily-digestible information to you.

When you’ve experienced something traumatic it can be difficult to process emotions, and understand or describe how you’re feeling. Listening and reading to other people speak about experiences, both autobiographical and fictional, can help you to understand that you aren’t alone in what you’re feeling. Hearing someone else articulate their emotions can often enable you to make sense of your own.

Non fiction (First-person accounts)

  • Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture – edited by Roxane Gay. This is a collection of honest, personal essays that explore a range of topics connected to rape culture.
  • Know My Name: the survivor of the Stanford sexual assault case tells her story – Chanel Miller
  • I Have The Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story Of Sexual Assault, Justice And Hope – Chessy Prout
  • Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement – edited by Jennifer Patterson
  • Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town – Jon Krakauer
  • History of Violence – Édouard Louis

Non fiction (Educational)

  • Asking for it: The alarming rise of rape culture and what we can do about it – Kate Harding
  • Rage Becomes Her – Soraya Chemaly
  • Why Women Are Blamed For Everything: Exploring the Victim Blaming of Women Subjected to Violence and Trauma – Dr Jessica Eaton
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape – Sohaila Abdulali
  • Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates

Fiction

  • Pretending – Holly Bourne
  • Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Red Word – Sarah Henestra
  • What Red Was – Rosie Price
  • An Untamed State – Roxane Gay
  • Below Deck – Sophie Hardcastle
  • The Round House – Louise Erdrich
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • The Way I Used to Be – Amber Smith
  • His Favorites – Kate Walbert
  • 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Reading list by the New York Times (x)
Young Adult reading list (x)

Contains links to personal accounts of sexual assault that might be triggering.

Personal stories

Buying Myself Back
Emily Ratakowski writes about reclaiming her own image – read

Stanford rape case: Chanel Miller’s statement
“To girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you.” – read

Hideous Men
Donald Trump assaulted me in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. But he’s not alone on the list of awful men in my life – E Jean Carroll read

Not Your Fault
A Teen Vogue campaign that aims to educate people about sexual assault – read

Being a victim of sexual violence is about more than hashtags and courtrooms – it’s time for society to step up support
“I spoke out about my sexual assault months after it happened and was fortunate to be greeted with a wave of love and support. But after I dropped my case, people were not as interested in knowing my experience” – read

A year ago I was raped. Here’s what I have learned
“Since the attack I have experienced an astonishing concoction of trauma, pain and grief… At the end of a long and arduous year I’ve begun to feel that I’m emerging from a dark tunnel” – The Guardian read

“Why my rape was anti-climactic”
After she was attacked, Laura Hunter-Thomas didn’t cry, report it or react how people thought she should. So why did other people’s reactions leave her feeling more violated than her rapist had? Laura explains how there is no right way to react after a sexual assault – read

‘My Sexual Assault Wasn’t That Bad’—and Other Normalizations That Need to Stop
“While it could have been worse, it was bad enough. You and I alike don’t need an experience to only ‘count’ if it’s awful” – Nina Rubin read

On Not Being A Victim
– Mary Gaitskill read

Prey
“In the aftermath of rape, and throughout the two-year-long rape trial, I was obsessed with dangerous animals. This is how I went from prey to predator” – Kathleen Hale read

Other articles

The ins and outs of consent
A digital zine that explores the grey areas of consent from multiple perspectives
– gal-dem, BBC and The Face read

Self-love after sexual trauma
A digital zine by Naked Grapefruit and Roisin Ross, independent sexual violence advisor read

What sort of sex do women really want?
“It used to be that women were constrained in their sexuality, pressured to conform to an ideal that served male interests, rather than their own. They still are.”
– Louise Perry writes about the sexual revolution read

Where The Voices Aren’t:
Moral accountability at the end of the earth’ (Are men (still) beasts? Rebecca West’s Legacy in the Time of #METOO) – Sophie Hardcastle read

“Boys will be boys and she was asking for it”
How the Media Perpetuates Victim Blaming and the Rape Myth in Rape Cases – Arianny Cabrera read

After Weinstein, it’s time to say no to the cliched line that rape is about power, not sex
– Sarah Ditum read

Enough: Crime and Composure
“No one who comes forward is treated with the dignity, let alone the care, of being the victim of a heinous crime. You are careless, trouble, a nuisance to the legal system. You endanger yourself when you make the moment that ruptured you into a scene” – Natalie Eilbert here

Personal stories
These podcasts reference personal accounts of sexual assault that might be triggering.

  • After – BBC Radio
  • The Left Ear – stories left as voicemails to Dakota Johnson
  • The Heart Radio: No (Soundcloud) listen
  • SAFE Berks – The PEOPLE Chronicles Radio, a safe haven and ongoing support system
  • She Sayslisten
  • This Happenedlisten

Further listening recommendations by Life Continues After – here

Other podcasts
These podcasts discuss sex, dating, relationships and bodily autonomy in ways that are educational, empowering and relatable.

  • Sex Power Money – Sara Pascoe
  • The Pleasure Podcast – Naomi Sheldon and Anand Patel
  • Project Pleasure – Anouszka and Frankie
  • Things You Can’t Ask Yer Mum – Lizzy Hadfield & Lindsey Holland
  • The Guilty Feminist – Deborah Frances-White
  • The Receipts Podcast
  • The Gurls Talk Podcast
  • The Sex Wrap Podcast
  • F**ks Given – Studio71 UK & Come Curious
  • Private Parts Unknown – Courtney Kocak & Sofiya Alexandra
  • Adulting – Oenone Forbat

Contains links to accounts of sexual assault that might be triggering.
Tips for Survivors on Consuming Media – RAINN here

Fiction

  • I May Destroy You
  • Nudes: Three teenagers are plunged into a nightmare when their sex lives are shared online. What do you do when private content goes public?
  • Sex Education
  • Big Little Lies (based on the book by Liane Moriarty)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (based on the novel by Margaret Atwood)
  • Sharp Objects (based on the novel by Gillian Flynn)
  • The Morning Show: a series about sexual misconduct in the workplace and its impact
  • Firefly Lane

Non-fiction

  • Sex & Lies: The Truth About Drunk Consent – BBC iPlayer watch
  • The Night in Question, Louis Theroux – BBC iPlayer watch
  • Is This Sexual Harassment? – BBC iPlayer watch
  • The Warwick Uni Rape Chat Scandal – BBC iPlayer watch

UK

List of other websites (x)

USA


Information on how to report rape and sexual assault in the UK (x)

(UK) Rights of Women – www.rightsofwomen.org.uk
Further legal advice and support can be found here

  • A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence read
    A resource which explains the different stages of the legal process, from the point of deciding whether to report the incident to the police, through to the trial, the outcome of the trial and sentence.
  • Rape Crisis South London’s Independent Sexual Violence Advocate – If you are thinking about reporting to the police and need some information or support you can call them on 0208 683 3311

“How Two Girls Are Teaching Students Their Rights to Fight Campus Sexual Assault”
read for information on your Title IX rights as a student in the USA

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