What happens when I call the crisis and support line?
When you call the statewide crisis and support line, your call will be routed to your local sexual assault support center. An answering service will pick up your call and a trained sexual assault support advocate will call you back within 15 minutes. Advocates are available to provide immediate confidential support over the phone, meet you at the hospital if you’ve been recently assaulted, go with you if you’d like to report to the police, or set up an appointment to meet with you in person. It’s up to you and your comfort level – the advocate who answers the phone can talk with you about any and all of those options.
What if I’m not sure what happened was sexual assault or rape?
Even if you’re not sure what happened was a crime, Maine’s sexual assault support advocates can help you talk through what happened and make a decision about what you’d like to do – if anything – next.
What if what happened to me was a long time ago?
Even if what happened to you was a long time ago, you can still give us a call and we will listen and be supportive. Some people call the crisis and support line about an assault that just happened, but many take years to reach out. You can reach out whenever you want – we will be here.
If I call the helpline or talk to an advocate, do I have to report to the police?
No, calling us does not mean that you have to report to the police. We are here to talk about options and support your decisions. Reporting to the police is one of the options, but we won’t tell you what to do and believe that you have the right to make that decision for yourself.
What if I’m a guy? Can I still call?
Anyone can call us for support or answers to questions related to sexual assault and sexual abuse. We are here to provide support to anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, religion, age, parenthood, political affiliation, or financial status.
What if I’m not a victim and someone close to me is? Can I still call?
We know that a victim’s friends and family have a lot of difficult feelings and responses when someone they loved was assaulted. You may feel angry, sad, scared, or unsure of what to do. We are here to support and listen to anyone who needs to talk – and that includes you if someone close to you has been assaulted.
Why would I call the crisis and support line?
People call a crisis and support line for many reasons, which include:
- To get emotional support and feel heard
- To find out what support resources are available like support groups or therapists
- To make a referral on behalf of a victim (with the victim’s permission)
- To talk to an advocate
- To talk through what has happened and find out what some next steps might be
- To learn about rights as a victim at work, school and in a criminal case
- To talk about safety, get referrals to safe and appropriate housing
- To learn how to support a loved one
- Many, many other reasons.
What do I do if a child has disclosed sexual assault?
Your response to the child is very important, especially if you’re the first person the child is telling. However, you may feel awkward and unsure of what to do. This resource provides guidance on best practice responses. Maine’s sexual assault support advocates are available to talk you through a disclosure and to help you figure out ways to take care of yourself and those around you.
How do I get training on this issue?
All of Maine’s sexual assault support centers provide quality community education and training on a variety of issues related to sexual assault. You can contact us at the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault and we can direct you to your local provider. You can also check this map of member centers to locate your local center.
How do I bring prevention education to my school and community?
All of Maine’s sexual assault support centers provide quality prevention education in Maine schools and communities. You can contact us at the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault and we can direct you to your local provider. You can also check this map of member centers to locate your local center.