Sexual assault is defined as a type of sexual behavior that occurs without the victim’s consent. While it is commonly used synonymously with rape, it could include other forms of contact, such as fondling parts of the body.
Incidents of sexual assault on college campuses across the United States are on the rise. In fact, according to 2015 numbers published by The New York Times, one in four women experienced sexual assault on a campus. Amongst men, the numbers are lower, but still serious – 8.6 percent. Amongst transgender students, reports of sexual assault are even higher than they are amongst females.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, it is important that you understand that you did nothing wrong, and that you have the power to take action.
Sexual assault is a serious crime that often happens behind closed doors and out of sight. But according to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, out of every 100 rapes committed, only 5-20 are reported to the police, 0.4 to 5.4 are prosecuted, 0.2 to 5.2 result in a conviction, and only .02 to 2.8 result in incarceration.
Fortunately, there are some great nonprofits, counseling groups, crisis programs, online resources, and specialized attorneys in the City to help sexual assault victims through difficult times.
Local Sexual Assault Nonprofits
There are many nonprofit organizations in New York City dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse, assault, and rape. For example, the New York City Alliance against Sexual Assault has a crisis helpline for counseling and information which can be reached Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm at 212-514-SAFE or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New York State Coalition against Sexual Assault is another local nonprofit dedicated to ending sexual violence, and its hotline number is 800-942-6906. This group has advocated for increased state funding to rape crisis programs, improved access to criminal courts for survivors of sexual violence, and promoted the overall health and criminal justice response to sexual assault.
Sexual Abuse Therapy Groups
Psychology Today published a listing of sexual abuse therapy groups in New York, which you can browse and learn more about the focus of the sessions, location, cost, and therapists. Network of Care for Mental/Behavioral Health is an online information portal where you can also find sexual assault counseling opportunities in New York. The resources here provide a wide range of services, including 24/7 trained rape crisis counselors, advocacy support, intervention, referrals, and preventative care programs.
Sexual Assault Lawyers
Sexual assault lawyers can help victims of domestic violence, rape, and other forms of violent crimes that are sexual in nature. A big part of sexual assault claims is security, and experienced attorneys can also help you pursue a claim if your assault happened in a public place.
Intruder and attacker scenarios often happen in apartment buildings, parking garages, public housing establishments, office buildings, and commercial properties. You are entitled to justice and compensation for damages that you have suffered due to sexual assault, as well as protecting yourself in the future, so don’t delay seeking help as soon as possible.
Housing Options for Assault Victims
Being a victim of sexual assault often means that you are not safe in your own home. Safe Horizon is one organization that helps victims move from crisis situations to safety and has programs located throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Safe Horizon has a 24-hour toll free hotlines for victims, which are as follows:
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.621.HOPE (4673)
- Crime Victims Hotline: 866.689.HELP (4357)
- Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline: 212.227.3000
- TDD phone number for all hotlines: 866.604.5350
The New York City Housing Authority works with victims of domestic violence to apply for Section 8 housing, and the City government’s rape and sexual assault hotline number to call is 212-227-3000. Other local housing solutions include the Brooklyn Women’s Shelter (116 Williams Ave.), the Franklin Women’s Shelter in the Bronx (1122 Franklin Ave. at East 166th St.), and Prevention and Temporary Housing for families with kids under 21 in the Bronx (151 East 151st St.).
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, contact Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, and experienced and compassionate sex crimes attorney at 718-237-5586.