Sexual Assault: Get Support

In light of COVID-19 SVR offices will be operating remotely as of Monday, March 16, 2020. We will continue to offer virtual appointments. Please call  the 24/7 helpline (212-854-HELP/4357) to speak with an advocate or schedule an appointment.

If You Have Experienced a Sexual Assault

After experiencing a traumatizing event such as sexual assault, it can be important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm. This location could be:

  • Home
  • Friend’s room
  • Local hospital
  • Police station

If you would like to have a confidential survivor advocate meet or accompany you to a local hospital or New York City police precinct, call 212-854-HELP/4357 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

Call 911 for immediate police protection and assistance.

Contact Columbia Public Safety at 212-854-5555 for assistance on the Morningside campus.

If you are being stalked or threatened, or have immediate concerns about your personal safety, Public Safety also provides a Walking Safety Escort Service.

If you would like to have a confidential survivor advocate meet or accompany you to a local hospital or New York City police precinct, call 212-854-HELP/4357 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

  • To check for injuries; you may have injuries that you can't see or feel
  • To prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and obtain prophylaxis medication
  • To prevent pregnancy
  • To collect evidence (Evidence collection does not require you to place a report with the police; this process preserves evidence for the future and it may vary by state.)

Medical Resources

  • Columbia Health Medical Services (Morningside campus)
  • Columbia University Medical Center Student Health Services
  • Barnard Primary Care Health Service
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Care, 212-523-3330, West 114th and Amsterdam
  • Roosevelt Hospital Emergency Department, 212-523-6800, 59th & 10th Avenue
  • Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center: Domestic and Other Violent Emergencies (DOVE), 212-305-9060, West 168th and Broadway
  • Crime Victims Treatment Center Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, 212-523-4728, call for appointment Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM –5:00 PM

If you would like to have a confidential survivor advocate meet or accompany you to a local hospital, call 212-854-HELP/4357 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

For the purposes of evidence collection, if possible, avoid:

  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Showering
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Combing your hair
  • Changing or washing your clothes

If you have done any of these things, evidence can still be collected and remains important in seeking medical attention. If you have changed your clothes, take the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault to the hospital in a paper bag (not a plastic bag). If you have not changed your clothes, it may be a good idea to bring a change of clothes to the hospital. If needed, a survivor advocate from Sexual Violence Response can provide you with needed clothing or other items from the Survivor Care Package.

Counseling is often helpful for survivors because it provides a safe place to talk about your experience and your feelings.

Counseling Resources:

Survivors and/or Co-Survivors (friends, family, classmates) may choose to visit the Sexual Violence Response and Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center to enlist confidential support around:

  • Reporting rights:
  • On-campus accommodations (Housing, Academic, Financial)
  • On- and off-campus referrals (mental health, follow up care, healing support)
  • Safety planning
  • Understanding the sexual assault forensic examination
  • Assistance drafting a victim impact statement
  • Court advocacy or assistance obtaining legal representation
  • Remembering it's not your fault
  • Identifying a friend or other support person to be by your side
  • Learning how to discuss the incident with family members

Getting Support

Sexual Violence Response can be accessed 24/7/365 by calling 212-854-HELP (4357). You have the option of working with a staff survivor advocate or, when available, a peer advocate. Both are confidential and certified by the New York City Department of Health to address issues of violence. They can provide crisis intervention and will discuss options for reporting and seeking medical help. They help survivors make informed decisions about their medical, legal, and disciplinary options. Advocates can accompany students to on- and off-campus resources such as hospital emergency departments, the police, the district attorney's office, and Columbia Public Safety.

In light of COVID-19, SVR advocates will be operating remotely. If you are in need of an accompaniment during this time, please call the 24/7 helpline (212-854-HELP/4357) to discuss what virtual options and/or community resources are available to you.