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 diseases (STDs).
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, professional nurse examiner in a supportive private environment. A volunteer advocate who can offer emotional support and information is part of this response as well.
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 of the incident (616.454.9922). We can also provide referrals for follow-up medical care and counseling.
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.
Short Term Respite (no cost)
Subject to availability, one to three days shelter is provided at the YWCA emergency shelter for victims who are unable to immediately return safely to their homes.
Short Term Counseling (no cost)
Individual sessions of short-term advocacy and supportive counseling are provided for sexual assault survivors. Trained advocates provide a sensitive environment where survivors can safely begin their recovery.
As part of their ongoing healing, survivors are helped to evaluate and establish goals which aid them in moving beyond their assaults. Advocacy is also provided through support, education and referral.
Support Groups (no cost)
A facilitator-led support group is available to adult women who were sexually abused as children or sexually assaulted as adults. Drop-in attendance is welcomed.
As needed, facilitator-led therapy groups are available to adolescents and adult women who were sexually assaulted with a focus on goals which aid them in moving beyond their assaults. Confirmed, ongoing participation is required.