What to do if You're Sexually Assaulted
If it just happened to you:
Go to a safe place and reach out to someone you trust for help and support.
If you wish, you can call 911 to report the sexual assault to the police.
Call the Sex Abuse Treatment Center's (SATC) 24-hour hotline at 524-7273. We can offer you the support, care and advocacy you may need right now. The SATC worker can help you with medical care, reporting to the police, informing family or friends, and your other questions or concerns.
- For TTY assistance for the hearing impaired, call 535-7627 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). We can help you directly this way.
- For TTY assistance after hours, call the SATC hotline 524-7273 and Physician's Exchange will assist you in contacting the SATC on-call worker.
- If you don't speak English, we can get an interpreter at no cost to you.
Neighbor island 24-hour Hotline:
- Big Island: 808-935-0677
- Maui County: (Toll Free) 866-443-5702
- Kauai: 808-245-4144
Suspected cases of child sexual abuse by a family and/or household member should be reported to the Department of Human Services-Child Welfare Services. Call 832-5300.
If you are a female seeking emergency medical services from a hospital, you should be aware that all Hawai'i hospitals are required to provide information about and access to emergency contraception following a sexual assault, even if you choose not to undergo an acute forensic examination or choose not to report the sexual assault to law enforcement. If you decide to undergo an acute forensic examination through SATC, information and access to emergency contraception will be provided to you as part of that examination.
Medical Care and Evidence Collection
This service, called the acute forensic examination, is available to adults and minors, females and males. Examinations are done within 120 hours of a sexual assault at the Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women & Children.
Medical care following a sexual assault is important even if you have no visible injuries. The acute forensic examination will:
- Ensure that you are physically alright, and address concerns about the risks of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and HIV.
- Collect and preserve any evidence, even if you do not want to report the assault to the police. Sometimes people change their minds and decide later that they want to pursue legal action.
To Preserve Evidence
It is best to not wash, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth (if oral activity took place). But even if you have cleaned up, you can and should still get a medical examination.
If you have not changed the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault, keep these on as they can be collected at the time of the examination. If possible, bring a change of clothing, but the SATC also has clothing available. If you do change, put each article of clothing you were wearing in a separate paper bag and bring everything to the hospital.
Do not clean or disturb the physical location where the assault occurred.
If you suspect that you were a victim of a rape drug, medical care for testing and collecting evidence as soon as possible is important. These drugs leave your system very quickly.
Although going to the hospital after a sexual assault may feel overwhelming, it is a safe place to get help. A SATC worker will stay with you the entire time.
- The examination is done in the Emergency Room of the Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women and Children (1319 Punahou Street).
- You can bring a friend or relative for support to the hospital.
- You can receive the SATC forensic examination even if you do not want to report to the police.
- Interpreters are available for those who have limited English ability or if you are hearing impaired.
- Crisis counseling is provided by the SATC worker during the medical exam.
- There is NO COST for the acute forensic examination or the crisis counseling.
- For more information, click here: The SATC Acute Forensic Examination
What if the sexual assault happened a while ago?
Call the SATC hotline 524-7273 and a SATC worker can help you decide on the best course of action.
You may still be able to report the assault to the police if it is within the statute of limitation. Call the SATC for further information on your reporting options.
If you are worried about sexually transmitted infections, HIV or other medical concerns, even if it is over 120 hours since the assault, it is important to seek medical care. Adults can seek care from a private physician or nearby medical clinic. The SATC has a Pediatric Sexual Abuse Clinic for anyone under the age of 18.
What about Counseling?
Support is available whether you are an adult, teen, or child. A sexual assault can be an intense physical and emotional experience. It is common to feel shocked, confused and overwhelmed.
Sexual assault may never be forgotten, yet you can recover. Dealing with the trauma of a sexual assault can be difficult as many thoughts and emotions may arise. At the SATC, we have experienced professional staff in our therapy program to help with your healing, or you can seek care from a private therapist in the community.
At the time of the forensic exam, you will be informed of follow-up services available and, if you wish, you will receive a call from a SATC crisis counselor a few days later to discuss your options. If you want therapy help, the SATC crisis counselor will make arrangements for you.
If you are uncertain about seeking therapy, you can meet the SATC crisis counselor for short-term crisis support. The crisis counselor can help you through difficult decisions you may be facing (e.g., Should I report to the police? Should I tell others what happened?), and can support you as you work on regaining a sense of normalcy. This support is also available to you even if you did not have the forensic examination.