It can be very difficult to know what to do or what your options are after you have been sexually assaulted. It is important to remember a sexual assault is never your fault and help is always available.
Maryland's Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers provide survivors with confidential services like crisis intervention, counseling, and victim accompaniment to hospitals, police interviews & court. Services are provided to adult and child survivors, as well as their families, partners, and loved ones.
Survivors have the right to be treated with dignity, respect and sensitivity during the criminal justice process. The Sexual Assault Legal Institute helps protect those rights by providing comprehensive legal services to survivors of sexual violence statewide.
After a sexual assault, it's important to consider getting medical attention. Seeking treatment at one of the several hospitals throughout Maryland that have a SAFE program will give you access to a free medical forensic exam by personnel specially trained to treat survivors of sexual assault. The exam will address medical issues such as injuries, STI and pregnancy prevention, and the collection of potential DNA evidence. In order to collect potentional evidence, the healthcare professional will complete a sexual assault evidence kit (or 'rape kit'). This process will be completed even if you choose to not report the crime to law enforcement at the time of your exam.
The Maryland Sexual Assault Kit Inititiative (SAKI) is a statewide effort to submit all eligible sexual assault evidence kits (SAEKs) collected prior to May 2018 for testing. If you had a sexual assault forensic exam and reported a sexual assault to law enforcement prior to May 2018, your sexual assault evidence kit ("rape kit") may be considered for forensic testing under the SAKI Project. MCASA is encouraging survivors who are seeking information about their kit to contact an MCASA SAKI Advocate to discuss any kit testing status updates.
Help and information is always available. Click here for safety planning and self-care tips. There are also resources underserved populations and Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) and victim compensation.
Would you like to know how you can help a friend or loved one who has been sexually assaulted?