How You Can Support Sexual Assault Survivors In The Wake Of Trump’s Win

This campaign season has been extremely triggering for many survivors of sexual assault. And now, the reality that President-elect Donald Trump ― a man who’s been accused of sexually assaulting over a dozen women ― will take office in just a few months, is an emotional one for many survivors. 

Fortunately, there are resources available to survivors and non-survivors to help cope with these triggers and help loved ones and strangers who have experienced assault. 

The Huffington Post spoke to Kristen Houser, the chief public affairs officer at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), about these support systems and how to utilize them.

“This is the moment where the power of being an active citizen becomes incredibly important,” Houser said. “And that’s something everybody can do ― whether you’re a survivor, a significant other or just a caring individual.”

Whether it’s donating to an anti-sexual violence organization, volunteering for a crisis helpline, or reaching out to a survivor who may be struggling ― there are so many ways to be supportive. And it’s critical that we all step up to help. 

For many, especially survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse, it is hard to fathom four years of man whose very voice has the ability to trigger memories of abuse and trauma. Houser had some encouraging words for survivors who are currently struggling.

“You’re not alone. Look around you, feel your feet on the ground, know that you’re safe,” she said. “Fear of the unknown can be overwhelming at times, focus on the here and now. Focus on what’s good, what’s healthy, what’s supportive, feel good about the resiliency that you’ve had thus far.”

Here are a few ways you can support survivors of sexual assault and a few ways you can help yourself if you need it:

1. If you want to talk to someone…

Whether you’ve survived sexual assault or felt deeply traumatized by the election, talking about your feelings is always healthy and integral to coping. Houser encourages those in need of a supportive ear to call NCVRC crisis hotline to find out how they can help or if they simply just need to talk. 

Call either of the below crisis helplines if you want to talk or scroll below to see specific numbers for coalitions in your state. (Every hotline offers counseling in multiple languages.) 

  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-4673
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC): 717-909-0710
  • Forge: 414-559-2123
  • Network La Red: 617-742-4911

Here’s a list of contact information for support groups:

  • For RAINN head here.
  • For NSVRC head here. 
  • For Forge head here. 
  • For Network La Red head here.

2. If you want to volunteer…

There are multiple ways to donate your time to an anti-sexual violence organization. You can volunteer for a national-based organization or in your specific community.

Here are a few ways to volunteer:   

  • To volunteer for the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (operated by RAINN) head here. 
  • To search for local volunteering opportunities in your area head here.
  • To become a fundraiser for RAINN head here or for NSVRC head here.
  • If you’re a college student who wants to bring sexual assault activism to your campus, head here.
  • To organize your own event head here. 

3. If you want to take action on social media…

Any small gesture of support helps, even if it’s a Facebook status or tweet. As the RAINN website reads: “You can play an important role in stopping sexual violence and connecting survivors with the support they deserve. The best part? You only have to lift a finger.”

There are a few ways to show support via social media. Here’s a few from RAINN:

  • Connect survivors with help by posting about help services like crisis hotlines. Here’s an example from RAINN: “If you have been affected by sexual assault, you are not alone. @RAINN01 provides free, confidential support 24/7 at online.rainn.org.” Head to RAINN to see more. 
  • Educate your friends by sharing statistics: “Every 109 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. Learn more and take action with @rainn01 at rainn.org.” Head to RAINN to read more. 
  • Advocate for sexual assault survivors by signing RAINN’s #MyNameOurVoice petition and share it on social media. The petition is a letter to our next president that states: “sexual violence is more than a talking point ― it’s an issue that affects nearly every family in America.” Head here to learn more. 
  • Tweet at or email your congressperson with concerns about sexual assault policies. 

4. If you want to donate…

A great way to show support is by donating to sexual assault awareness organizations. If you have a loved one who’s a survivor ― and she/he/they are open about their assault ― consider donating in their name. 

“Honor their resiliency, honor their spirit and their fight by donating in their name,” Houser said. “That can mean the world to people.”

Below is a list of national and state-by-state organizations that you can donate to in the fight to send sexual violence. 

National Organizations:

  • Forge is a transgender anti-violence organization that provides services to transgender, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary sexual assault survivors. Donate here. 
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center works to eliminate sexual violence across the country. Donate here. 
  • National Alliance To End Sexual Violence is a Washington DC-based anti-sexual violence group that focuses specifically on communicating their mission to policy makers. Donate here.
  • Network La Red is a survivor-led anti-violence organization that works to end partner abuse in LGBT and queer communities. Donate here. 
  • No More is a national anti-sexual violence and anti-domestic violence awareness group that focuses on people of all genders but specifically male sexual assault survivors. Donate here.
  • Safe Horizon is a national organization that combats sexual and domestic violence. The organization caters to people of all genders and sexualities, but has a large LGBTQ clientele. Donate here. 
  • Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) focuses on strengthening student-led movements to combat sexual violence on college campuses around the country. Donate here. 
  • The Relief Fund For Sexual Assault Victims collects donations for assault victims and awareness programs affected by disasters in the U.S. Donate here. 
  • The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and advocacy group. Donate here.

 State-By-State Organizations:

  • Alabama Coalition Against Rape: Donate here or call 334-264-0123. 
  • Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 907-586-3650.
  • American Samoa Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 684-699-0272. 
  • Arizona Sexual Assault Network: Donate here. 
  • Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 501-246-3276.
  • California Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 916-446-2520.
  • Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 303-839-9999.
  • Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services: Donate here or call 860-282-9881.
  • Contact Lifeline (Delaware): Donate here or call 302-761-9800.
  • Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer (Puerto Rico): Donate here or call 787-281-7579.
  • DC Rape Crisis Center: Donate here or call 202-232-0789.
  • Florida Council Against Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 850-297-2000.
  • Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 404-815-5261.
  • Guam Healing Arts Crisis Center: Donate here or call 671-647-5351.
  • Hawaii State Coalition for the Prevention of Sexual Assault: Call 808-733-9038.
  • Idaho Coalition Against Sexual Domestic Violence: Donate here or call 208-384-0419.
  • Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 217-753-4117.
  • Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 317-872-1086.
  • Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 515-244-7424.
  • Kansas Coalition Against Sexual Domestic Violence: Donate here or call 785-232-9784.
  • Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs: Donate here or call 502-226-2704.
  • Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 225-372-8995.
  • Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 207-626-0034.
  • Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 301-328-7023.
  • Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: Donate here or call 617-248-0922.
  • Michigan Coalition Against Domestic Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 517-347-7000.
  • Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 651-209-9993.
  • Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 601-948-0555.
  • Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 573-634-4161.
  • Montana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 406-443-7794. 
  • Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: Donate here or call 402-476-6256. 
  • Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 775-828-1115. 
  • New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 603-224-8893.
  • New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 609-631-4450.
  • New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs: Donate here or call 505-883-8020.
  • New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 518-482-4222.
  • New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 212-229-0345
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 888-737-2272.
  • North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services: Donate here or call 701-255-6240.
  • Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 670-234-3878.
  • Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 888-886-8388.
  • Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 405-524-0700.
  • Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 503-230-1951.
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape: Donate here or call 717-728-9740.
  • Day One (Providence, RI): Donate here or call 401-421-4100.
  • South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 803-256-2900. 
  • South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 605-945-0869.
  • Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: Donate here or call 615-386-9406.
  • Texas Association Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 512-474-7190.
  • Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 801-746-0404.
  • Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 802-223-1302.
  • Virgin Islands Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council: Donate here or call 340-719-0144.
  • Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance: Donate here or call 434-979-9002.
  • Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs: Donate here or call 360-754-7583.
  • West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services: Donate here or call 304-366-9500. 
  • Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 608-257-1516.
  • Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Donate here or call 307-755-5481.
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