Rape Response Services: 1-800-310-0000

Rape Response Services

Seeking Help

The following is information for people seeking general help and additional resources. For more information, please call the Rape Response Services hotline at 1-800-310-0000 or see our Resources & Links section below.

What to do if you are raped…

  • Go to a safe place such as the home of a friend or family member.
  • If you think you might make a police report, even if it is just a thought, it is important to go to the hospital to have a rape protocol exam. Don't shower, change your clothes, brush your teeth, use the bathroom, or eat or drink. The hospital will need to collect as much evidence as possible. Don’t worry if you have already done some of these things. It is quite possible that there is still evidence to collect, as well as injuries that can be documented.
  • Even if you do not wish to take legal action, it is important that you receive medical attention. You do not have to have a rape protocol exam done if you go to the hospital. You may simply receive treatment for your injuries, emergency contraception, and information about STI testing.
  • You might find it helpful to bring a trusted friend with you to the hospital. You can also request that an advocate from Rape Response Services be with you at the hospital. A advocate can be reached by calling the hotline yourself, or services can be accessed through any hospital in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. The advocate’s role is to provide you with support and information.
  • After your physical wounds heal, the emotional ones will probably still be there. The healing process usually takes some time. You might find it helpful to seek counseling. There are many counselors in the area who specialize in rape trauma. Rape Response Services can give you a referral based on your personal needs. Many therapists accept MaineCare or can provide services on a sliding fee scale.

What to do if someone you know is raped…

  • Believe what your friend is saying. Listen and provide support.
  • Do not judge.
  • Don't make decisions for your friend. Your friend has just lost all control over his or her own body and self. Ask your friend what he/she wants to do. Don't tell her/him what should be or what needs to be done. Offer your friend options and then let him or her decide.
  • Offer to go to the hospital with your friend. Offer to go to the police as well.
  • Your friend will probably need a lot of support. The best support you can offer is to listen. In situations like these there are no quick fixes or easy answers. Listening and being supportive are more important than you may realize. You may want to recommend counseling. Offer to go to the initial appointment with him or her.
  • If you need support in dealing with your friend's rape, please feel free to contact the Rape Response Services hotline. You might also consider seeing a counselor to talk about your feelings.
  • Remember that sexual violence hurts us all. By being a supportive friend, you are helping your friend to heal and to regain control of her/his life.
  • Try to keep in mind that you are only human, too. You need to set your own limits. Supporting your friend may become too overwhelming, and this is okay. Try to have a back up support available when you feel you need to take a breather. Your friend may not realize how stressed you are at first, but she/he will respect you for giving yourself the space to regroup so you can better support her/him.

Tips for Talking to Children about Sexual Abuse…

  • Teach children accurate names for all of their body parts. A convenient time to do this is during bath time when you are teaching children about how to wash all of their body parts. It is important that kids know all of the correct names. If they ever need to report being touched inappropriately, they will know the words to use.
  • Include rules about body safety with all of your other safety rules. It is as important as knowing about poisons, what to do in case of a fire, or how to cross the street. Let children know that the private parts of his/her body should only be touched by an adult to help keep them clean or healthy. Examples are parents helping with baths, or the pediatrician performing a check up.
  • Avoid telling kids that only strangers are dangerous. It is important to know that in 85% of sexual abuse cases, the perpetrators are known to the victims. Instead of saying strangers are dangerous, talk about situations that are dangerous. Brainstorm with children what they could do if they find themselves in a dangerous situation. Give scenarios and try some role plays.
  • Help children understand and trust their feelings. Ask them if they have ever felt “funny” or wanted to stay away from someone. Explain that when they have feelings like this, trust them, and tell a trusted adult how they are feeling.
  • Don’t encourage behavior that can leave your kids vulnerable. Examples may include saying “Always do what adults tell you to do,” or “Don’t hurt cousin Fred’s feelings, hug him goodbye.” Children need to learn how to say “NO!” when they don’t want to be touched. They need to have permission to tell us who or what they don’t like and why.
  • It is most important to keep in mind that if your child discloses abuse, it is vital to believe him/her. Children rarely make up stories of this nature. Report the abuse, and reach out for services. There are many people who can help.

What to do if you are experiencing Sexual Harassment…

Let the offender know that what he/she is doing is making you uncomfortable, and ask the person to stop. It is helpful to do this in front of others who can witness your conversation.

If you feel afraid to confront the person, bring a friend or co-worker with you, or enlist your employer or school administrator to help with this.

If the offender fails to stop the behavior, go to your employer, human resource office, school administrator, or other designated staff/faculty member who has been selected to handle sexual harassment complaints.

Document all instances of sexual harassment including the date, time, where the harassment occurred, what was said or done, and all others who were present at the time.

Be persistent with your employer or school until they have successfully remedied the situation. Remember it is your legal right to be protected from sexual harassment at work and at school.

You can also contact the Maine Human Rights Commission for additional assistance.

Resources & Links

Rape Response Services Hotline
Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line
Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line TTY
Maine Human Rights Commission
Safe Campus Project, University of Maine
Penquis Law Project
Shaw House
Penquis Health Services
Bangor STI Clinic
Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office
Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office
Maine State Police
Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
State of Maine website
Maine Sex Offender Registry
Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network
National Organization on Male Victimization