If you are in immediate danger or feel unsafe, call 911.
Rape Exams and Medical Help: Nurse Examiner Program (no cost)
Receiving immediate and follow-up medical attention is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself if you have been sexually assaulted. You may have injuries that need to be treated, and you may want to address and receive treatment for the possibility of pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
As part of our community’s response to sexual assault, the YWCA provides comprehensive, timely, and sensitive rape exams (officially known as medical-forensic examinations).
With patient consent, evidence is collected and documented by a specially trained, forensic nurse examiner in a supportive private environment. A volunteer advocate who offers emotional support and information is part of this response as well.
You can watch this video which walks you through what to expect during a visit to the Nurse Examiner Program. (Special thanks to the participants in our girls’ leadership program for creating it.)
Exams are performed at the YWCA on a 24-hour, on-call basis for children and adults, and all genders. To arrange for an exam, contact the YWCA within 120 hours (5 days) of the incident (616.454.9922). We can also provide referrals for follow-up medical care and counseling.
Advocacy Resource Services
Crisis Help (No Cost)
Trained volunteer advocates are available 24 hours a day to help victims of sexual assault. They provide:
- A confidential, supportive, listening ear by phone (616.454.9922).
- Sensitive, supportive care for victims of sexual assault who need immediate help, a rape exam, are having flashbacks, etc.
- Crisis services for friends or family who accompany victims seeking medical care or a rape exam, or who simply have concerns or questions about helping their loved one.
- General referral information for local medical, legal, and counseling services.
Support Groups (No Cost)
Facilitator-led support groups are available to victims and survivors of sexual assault. Contact 616.426.3727 for login information for online groups.
Available groups include:
- Survivors of Sexual Assault and Abuse *available online*
- Survivors of Domestic and Dating Abuse *available online*
- LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic or Dating Abuse, or Adult or Childhood Sexual Assault *available online*
Short Term Support (No Cost)
Individual sessions of short-term support, advocacy, and safety planning are provided for victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Trained advocates provide a sensitive environment where survivors can safely begin their recovery.
As part of their ongoing healing, victims and survivors are helped to evaluate and establish goals which aid them in moving beyond an assault. Advocacy is also provided through support, education and referral.
As needed, facilitator-led therapy groups are available to adolescents and adult women who were sexually assaulted as children or sexually assaulted with a focus on goals which aid them in moving beyond their assaults. Confirmed, ongoing participation is required.
Safe Connections – Supervised Parenting Time and Custody Exchanges
To help parents and children develop positive, healthy relationships, the YWCA provides supervised parenting time and custody exchanges for families where there is a concern for safety due to domestic or dating abuse, sexual assault, stalking, child sexual abuse, mental illness, or substance abuse. Click here for more information and program hours.