Resources and Options for Survivors

Immediately Following an Assault

  • Seek help from a trusted source
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible. A Sexual Assault Victim Examination (SAVE) can be performed at no cost by calling the SAVE Team (727-530-7273).
  • Do not shower, wash, douche, or change clothes, as these actions may destroy valuable evidence. If clothes are changed, soiled clothes should be placed into a paper bag or pillowcase and taken to the exam with you or stored for later. If you are concerned about the length of time you have to receive an exam, contact the SAVE Team.
  • Medical staff can provide emergency contraception and tests for STI’s.

Note: Neither the request for a Sexual Assault Exam nor the collection of physical evidence by hospital personnel and its storage by the police mean you must pursue criminal charges. However, if a decision is made later to pursue criminal charges, the preservation of such evidence will be extremely valuable.

Community Support

Because of the trauma resulting from sexual violence, survivors are strongly encouraged to seek ongoing professional support. A therapeutic relationship with a counselor:

  • creates a confidential environment in which the survivor can discuss all aspects of their experience as needed or desired;
  • provides the survivor with valuable tools for coping with the stress and intensity of feelings, which may shift many times during a survivor’s recovery;
  • facilitates the healing process and monitors the survivor’s progress in regaining and maintaining emotional balance;
  • documents the survivor’s on-going request for assistance, should they wish to use such an attendance record in a conduct or court hearing.