If you are in immediate danger or feel unsafe, call 911.
sexual assault Exams, intimate partner violence 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 sexual assault 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. We also provide referrals for follow-up medical care and counseling.
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).
Advocacy & Resource Services
Crisis Help (No Cost)
Trained volunteer advocates are available 24 hours a day, or by appointment during business hours, to help survivors 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 sexual assault exam, are experiencing trauma symptoms, and more.
- Crisis services for friends or family who accompany victims seeking medical care or a sexual assault exam, or who simply have concerns or questions about helping their loved one.
- Paralegal services and help navigating the legal/court system.
- General referral information for local medical, legal, and counseling services.
Support Groups (No Cost)
The following facilitator-led support groups are available to victims and survivors of sexual assault.
Contact 616.426.3727 for more information!
Available groups include:
- Survivors of Domestic and Dating Abuse *available online and in-person*
- Survivors of Sexual Assault and Abuse *available online and in-person*
- LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic or Dating Abuse, or Adult or Childhood Sexual Assault *available online*
- Spanish Speaking Survivors of Domestic Violence *available online and in-person*
See our Events page for Group dates and times.
counseling / Therapy
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.
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.
“it happened. what’s next?”
For more details on the YWCA’s services related to sexual assault, hear from some of our YWCA staff in this panel video made in partnership with Kent District Library.