3 Tips for Being a Supportive Loved One to a Sexual Assault Survivor

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. With this in mind, having access to SAFE-ready facilities is essential.

ER Near Me’s primary focus after an incident of sexual assault in Texas is assessing and attending to the immediate healthcare needs of the survivor, as well as giving them a safe place to seek help. This is followed by the collection and preservation of evidence to defend and support the survivor. This is where SAFE-ready facilities come into play, which are healthcare facilities designated as sexual assault forensic exam-ready under Section 323.0015.

SAFE stands for a sexual assault forensic examiner, which refers to a physician with specialized training on conducting a forensic medical examination or a certified sexual assault nurse examiner.

While ER Near Me is not yet a SAFE-ready healthcare facility, we want to provide survivors and loved ones with as much information and resources as possible, including a list of nearby SAFE-ready facilities. 

What Does a SAFE-Ready Facility Provide?

In addition to forensic medical examination, a designated SAFE-ready facility in Texas provides survivors with a private area to speak with the appropriate legal, medical, or crisis center staff until a physician can treat them in a private treatment room. Survivors are also provided access to a sexual assault program advocate.

How to Help a Sexual Assault Survivor

Approximately 6.3 million adult Texans have been sexually assaulted at some time in their lifetime. However, few report the incident or seek medical treatment due to fear or circumstance. Additionally, most female survivors are assaulted by a man they know, yet only a minuscule amount of perpetrators will end up in prison.

With this in mind, it’s evident that the period following a sexual assault is confusing, emotional, and frightening for the survivor. If someone you know has been assaulted, there are a few things you can do to help:

Be Supportive

Ensuring the safety of the survivor is a top priority. Sexual assault is known to have short- and long-term effects on survivors, and they will need help healing physically and emotionally. This help and support can come from loved ones as well as professional counseling. Be there emotionally for your loved one and offer them support

Here are a few hotlines and resources you can provide:

  • Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center at 972-641-7273
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-4673

For more information on how to support your loved ones, download our print-out of the Top Dos and Don’ts for Supporting Your Loved Ones and Their Mental Health.

Find a SAFE-Ready Facility

After a sexual assault in Texas, a medical exam is strongly encouraged, not only to reveal injuries that may not be visible but also to provide treatment. A SAFE-ready facility can also perform an exam to collect evidence within a certain period of time.

Here are the nearest SAFE-ready facilities in the DFW metroplex:

  • Texas Health Presbyterian of Dallas

8200 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, Texas 75231

  • Parkland Hospital

5200 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, Texas, 75235

  • Methodist Dallas Medical Center

1441 N Beckley Ave, Dallas, Texas 75203

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth

1301 Pennsylvania Ave, Fort Worth, Texas 76104

  • Cook Children’s Hospital Care Team

801 Seventh Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas, 76104

  • Texas Health Plano

6200 W Parker Road, Plano, Texas 75093

  • Medical City Denton

3535 S. Interstate 35 E, Denton, Texas 76210

  • Medical City Flower Mound ER

4351 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, Texas 75028

  • Baylor Carrollton

4343 N Josey Lane, Carrollton, Texas, 75010

Encourage Self-Care

After a trauma, survivors need to keep their body and mind healthy. Encourage the survivor to practice good self-care to rest, recharge, and cope with the short- and long-term effects of sexual assault. Read our blog here for tips on practicing self-care to relax, reduce stress, and relieve anxiety.

Helping Survivors Reestablish a Sense of Safety and Control

Considering how emotionally charged a survivor can be following an assault, knowing how and when to help is difficult. The important thing to remember is that the victim needs to know you are there for him or her. While you shouldn’t offer physical support without asking first, offering emotional support is key to helping the victim heal. Show the survivor you are always available to talk and help him or her reestablish a sense of safety, security, and control.
For more information for victims of sexual assault in Texas, visit The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

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