Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Survivor Advocacy Services

What to Do After a Sexual Assault

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. Please know that you’re not alone and you are NEVER to blame. Below you will find recommended actions immediately following a sexual assault.   


You Are Not Alone

Sexual assault counselors (also called victim or survivor advocates) are confidential and available to assist victims/survivors of sexual assault.

Note: Communications with sexual assault counselors/advocates are protected by state law per California Evidence Code Section §§1035.

Sexual assault counselors/advocates can assist by providing the following:

  • Confidential, non-judgmental support
  • Information about rights and options to help someone make an informed decision
  • Help with reporting sexual assault to law enforcement which includes in-person accompaniments to the police station (the same support is also available for those that report sexual misconduct to the Title IX office)
  • Information and accompaniments to sexual assault forensic exams (SAFE's) and other medical options

Sexual assault counselors/advocates are available on campus and at community-based sexual assault/rape crisis centers.

Note: If a campus-based sexual assault counselor/advocate cannot be reached, you may contact a community-based sexual assault/rape crisis center for immediate assistance. Community-based sexual assault counselors/advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling a hotline.

Fresno State Sexual Assault Counselors/Advocates

Fresno State Sexual Assault Counselors/Advocates
Services provided to all students, staff and faculty regardless of when/where the harm occurred
Community Based:
Services provided to all local campus and community members
Department/Organization Survivor Advocacy Services Rape Counseling Services of Fresno
Contact Information Phone: 559.278.6796 (24-Hour Hotline)
24-Hour Hotline: 559.278.7273
Phone: 559.497.2900
Location Student Health and Counseling Center
5044 North Barton Avenue
Fresno, CA 93740
259 North Blackstone Avenue
Fresno, CA 93701
  • Crisis intervention counseling and ongoing emotional support
  • Information about options, victim/survivor rights, and other appropriate resources
  • Safety planning
  • Support and accompaniments throughout all stages of law enforcement and/or campus' investigation and discipline proceedings
  • Support and accompaniments to sexual assault forensic examinations and other medical care
  • Support and accompaniments to legal appointments, court hearing, and including assistance with obtaining restraining orders
  • Assistance with seeking reasonable and available academic, workplace, housing, and administrative relief
  • Support groups
  • Crisis intervention
  • 24/7 hotline staffed by sexual assault counselors/advocates
  • Individual mental health counseling
  • Group counseling/support groups
  • 24-hour advocacy and accompaniments to hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and court proceedings
  • Information and referrals

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Hotline staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a national sexual assault hotline. Hotline staff can be contacted via phone at 800.656.4673, or online chat at their website,

Note: When calling the hotline your call will be directed to a local provider based on the area code of the phone number you are calling from. If you are geographically located in an area different from the area code of the phone number you are calling from, hotline staff can still offer you support but may not have information regarding resources in your location. If this is your situation, please call the 24/7 hotline at the sexual assault/rape crisis center nearest you.
Additional Options for Support: Additional resources for support are available and include but are not limited to, mental health counseling and psychological services on-campus or community-based, your campus Title IX office, and the CSU's employee assistance program (EAP) are also available.

A law enforcement officer can take a report, help access confidential support, and provide access to medical care after a sexual assault. Police departments are available for response 24/7.

Sexual assaults can be reported at any time (immediately following, days or years after the incident). Statutes of limitations vary, depending on the type of crime/sexual assault and by state. The evidence available, investigations and treatment options may also be impacted by the length of time that has passed since the assault. A sexual assault counselor/advocate or law enforcement can provide you with specific information related to these factors.

Deciding to report a sexual assault to law enforcement is a very private a personal decision. It’s ok to report to police, not report, or not k​nowing if one wants to report. A sexual assault counselor/advocate can provide all information about reporting options so the victim/survivor can make an informed decision.

Law Enforcement
  Fresno State Police Department Fresno Police Department
Coverage Area Incidents that occurred on-campus Incidents that occurred in the community surrounding campus
Contact Information Phone Emergency: 9-1-1
Phone: 559.278.8400
Phone Emergency: 9-1-1
Location 2311 East Barstow Avenue
Fresno, CA 93740
2323 Mariposa St. #2075
Fresno, CA 93721
Hours of Operation Monday through Sunday
24 Hours a Day
Monday through Sunday
24 Hours a Day

More information about reporting sexual assault to law enforcement:

Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE)
Also known as "rape kits"

A sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) could be used to collect DNA evidence if the assault occurred within 120 hours. Specialized sexual assault nurse examiners collect samples from a victim/survivor that may contain DNA evidence to help a potential prosecution.

A victim/survivor has the right to have a support person with them and can say no to any part of the exam.

If a person decides they want a SAFE, the sexual assault counselor/advocate can provide more detailed information and help coordinate response with police and the SAFE nurse.

There are two types of exams: a VAWA exam and evidentiary exam

Exam Types
  VAWA Exam Evidentiary Exam
Report Requirement Does not require police report Requires police report
Who Helps Access Exam This option is available through your campus sexual assault counselor/advocate as well as your local sexual assault/rape crisis center. A police officer will schedule the exam.
Who are Exams For These exams may be appropriate for those that are not ready to speak to and involve law enforcement. Evidence from VAWA exams in California must be preserved for two years in the event that a victim/survivor does want to engage with law enforcement. These exams are appropriate for those that would like immediate law enforcement involvement. Evidentiary exams are intended to collect forensic evidence for use in criminal prosecution. An evidentiary exam is an option available by filing a report with law enforcement.
Level of Police Involvement Police officers will not take a report and should not engage with the victim/survivor. However, the police department will collect the evidence kit and store it until (and if) the victim/survivor decides to file a police report/criminal charge.

Police officers may:

  • Take a police report by interviewing the victim/survivor and possibly any friends/witnesses
  • Coordinate and schedule the SAFE
  • Provide transportation to the SAFE location
  • Contact a sexual assault counselor/advocate to provide emotional support during the process

Note about at-home rape kits: Although well-intentioned, evidence from at home “rape kits" may not be admissible for evidence.

Preserving clothing with potential DNA evidence:
Necessary evidence could be present in the clothes someone wore during the assault — this evidence can be preserved by being stored in paper bags (mold grows in plastic bags.) If the person decides to file a police report or obtain a sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE), the clothes can be provided to them for evidence collection.

More information about sexual assault forensic exams:

Other Evidence

A sexual assault forensic exam is one way to preserve evidence, but it's not the only way. Here is a list of other evidence that can be preserved:

  • Video – from door cameras, surveillance cameras, social media posts, etc.
  • Names of people that may have information such as:
  • Eyewitnesses – people who saw behavior or level of intoxication before the assault or witnessed the assault
  • Outcry witnesses – people you told about what happened
  • Any messages or communication with the perpetrator, including voicemails, texts, email and social media messaging (taking screenshots can be helpful)
  • Information/documentation about or photos of injuries
  • Receipts – showing where you were or what you were doing

It's ok if someone does not wish to file a police report or get a sexual assault forensic exam. That said, depending on the nature of the assault, it may still be important to obtain medical care to address potential injuries, exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI's), or if there may be a risk of pregnancy.

A sexual assault counselor/advocate can help explore and address issues such as resources to help pay for medical care and confidentiality

Note: Emergency contraceptives are also available at local pharmacies without prescription.

Options for Care

Options for Medical Care: Sexual Assault Forensic Exam

Options for Medical Care Only

Community Regional Medical Center

Location: 2823 Fresno St, Fresno Ca 93721
Emergency room: ask for a Sexual assault forensic exam, they accept walk ins
Phone: 559.459.6000
Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Fresno State Student Health and Counseling Center

Location: 5044 N. Barton Avenue, Fresno, CA 93740
Contact Information: 559.278.2734
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 8 am to 4:45 pm


Family Healing Center

Location: 7025 N. Chestnut #102, Fresno, Ca 93720
Phone: 559.840.1012
Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
To utilize this service you must set this up with the police department.  The Fresno State Police Department has an agreement with them to set up an exam. You do not have to participate in an investigation to receive this service. But a police officer must approve the exam, and give a case number to help store the evidence. The forensic exam is completed by Central Valley Forensic Nursing Specialist Inc. 

Note: See above "Collecting Evidence" for more information. 

St. Agnes Medical Center

Location: 1303 E Herndon Ave. Fresno, CA 93720
Contact Information: 559.450.3205
Hours of Operation: 24 Hours a day, Monday through Sunday



Planned Parenthood

Location: 6095 N. 1st Street, Fresno, CA 93710
Contact Information: 559.446.1515
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Note: Per California Penal Code §§11160, all medical providers in California are required to notify law enforcement when they are treating an injury caused by “abusive or assaultive" behavior. This means that a healthcare provider may need to make a police report if their patient discloses that the injury they are seeking treatment for was caused by abuse or assault. The victim/survivor, however, has the right to not speak to law enforcement or share additional information.

A sexual assault counselor/advocate can help someone navigate any potential report made by a medical provider. For example, if someone does not wish to report to law enforcement, the counselor/advocate can help say no to a police report without feeling intimidated.