Emotional Support

Emotions & Self-Care

Seeking Support

  • Counselor / Therapist / Psychologist: It's okay to seek outside support, and you can talk to a professional therapist, counselor, or psychologist through St. John's or the local community. Students can use the St. John's Center for Counseling and Consultation free of charge. Learn more about Support from St. John's.
  • Crisis Centers: Crisis centers are places dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault or abuse and often provide counseling, support programs, legal referrals, and access to advocates (also called Rape Crisis Centers). Find a center near you:  Support In the Area.
  • Advocates: Sometimes called survivor advocates or victim advocates, these are compassionate allies who can support you by accompanying you to a medical or forensic exam, explaining your reporting options, helping you find psychological/emotional support and referring you to legal resources. Connect with the local crisis center in your area to talk to an advocate.

Common Emotional Responses

There is no right or wrong emotional response to an experience of unwanted sexual contact; each person will have their own reaction. It’s common to experience a mix of emotions and feelings, like sadness, anger, confusion, shame, or uncertainty of what to do next.

It can be useful to seek support and practice active self-care to aid the healing process.  Below are some tips and reminders for taking care of yourself throughout your process.


Self-care is an important part of healing. While you may feel pressure from others to respond in a certain way, your only obligation is to your own healing.  You are in the best position to know what you need.

  • Check in with yourself about your sleeping, eating, exercise, and substance use patterns. Your physical health is directly connected to your emotional well-being. If you feel tired or emotionally drained, consider incorporating meditation or other relaxation practices into your daily routine.
  • Processing what happened in a safe environment is important; if you do not feel safe in your school environment due to ongoing contact with the perpetrator, you have the right to change your housing accommodations or class schedule. Read more about St. John's Policies and Your Title IX Rights.

Remember that you are not alone, and it's okay to seek out support, whether through friends, an advocate, online communities, a crisis center, or a counselor or therapist.

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Support from St. John's

There are a number of on campus support resources for survivors of sexual assault. To access that list, including contact information, please see St. John's Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault.

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In the Area

For a complete list of community resources available, visit the Campus Resources under Counseling and Support section on SJU's website.

Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI) at Elmhurst Hospital
SAVI provides free and confidential support services for female and male victims of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and relationship abuse.

Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon’s community programs offer crisis intervention, case management, practical/emergency assistance, information and referrals, individual counseling, support groups, advocacy, and community/public education presentations.

New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
Not-for-profit center providing individuals (ages 4+) who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or other trauma with outpatient psychotherapy, play/art therapy, and group counseling.

Turning Point
Turning Point is a community based, nonprofit organization addressing the needs of Muslim women and children. Culturally and religiously sensitive staff provide free and confidential counseling, advocacy, and referral services for women and children affected by domestic violence.

Womankind helps women and their children overcome domestic violence and other forms of abuse by empowering them to govern their own lives. Services include multi-lingual support programs and shelter services.

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Nationally & Globally

Nonconsensual or unwanted sexual contact is never okay, regardless of the state or country in which it occurs. Below are resources to find information and support nationally and internationally.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
RAINN is the largest US network supporting survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and offers a free, completely anonymous and confidential 24/7 online chat service that you can access from anywhere around the globe. Chat with a trained RAINN support specialist anytime at online.rainn.org. Learn more at the RAINN resources website.   

U.S. Department of State -  Office of Overseas Citizens Services
The State Department can help you contact family or friends, obtain medical care, address emergency needs, understand the local criminal justice process and connect with local and/or US-based resources for victims of crime, including local legal representation. The first step is often connecting with the local US consulate or embassy.

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