What is sexual violence? Sexual violence comes in many forms. It can be defined as any unwanted sexual activity that is forced, threatened, coerced, or manipulated onto an individual. Sexual violence is motivated by the need to control, dominate, humiliate, and harm another individual. It violates a person’s feeling of trust and safety and impacts individuals, families, and communities as a whole.
- Sexual assault/rape
- Child sexual abuse
- Criminal sexual contact/unwanted touching
- Internet stalking to obtain sex
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
Go to a safe place, away from the perpetrator.
Call for help.*
Dial 911 or call the SERV hotline at 1-866-295-SERV (7378).
Do not shower, change your clothes, brush your teeth, eat, drink, smoke, or comb your hair.
If you believe you have been drugged and you intend to seek medical attention, try to hold your bladder until you can give a urine sample.
For a recent assault (within the last 5 days), go to your local hospital emergency department (see right) for a sexual assault forensic exam. Call a trusted friend or family member who can meet you at the hospital to bring you a change of clothes. If you have already changed your clothes, bring the unwashed items with you to be collected for evidence.
If after the 5-day window, seek medical attention from your doctor and contact SERV to speak with an advocate.
*For victims under the age of 13, contact the Child Abuse Research Education and Service (CARES) Institute:
Hospitals in SERV's Service Area in South Jersey with Trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs):
- Cooper Hospital (Camden)
- Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital (Camden)
- Jefferson Hospital (Stratford)
- Virtua Hospital (Voorhees)
- Jefferson Hospital (Washington Township)
- Inspira Health Center (Woodbury)
- Inspira Medical Center (Mullica Hill)
- Inspira Medical Center (Vineland)
- Inspira Health Center (Bridgeton)
While it is difficult to determine or control the actions of others, there are several precautions you can take to personally reduce risks. Create your own safety plan using these tips:
- Avoid isolated places.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Vary your daily routine.
- Leave a breadcrumb trail. Always let someone know where you are going and who you will be with.
- Pay attention to people's attitudes.
- Trust your instincts. if something doesn't feel right, remove yourself from that situation .
- Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone you don't know/trust.
- Make your limits clear.
- Arrange your own transportation to places.
Learn more about technology safety in situations of abuse. For other safety tips, including how you can protect others, visit the RAINN website.