Survivors and Co-Survivors


​Sexual Violence Education and Support (SVES)

We recommend that you contact our Student Life Office, as soon as possible in order to get information about all of your options on campus and in the community. Support for those who have experienced sexual violence is available through the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Program (SVPR) in the Office of Student Life.


You may find yourself constantly thinking about your experience with sexual violence or refusing to think about it at all. All of these feelings and reactions are natural. Give yourself permission to take as long as you need to recover. Remember that no matter what the circumstances of your experience, it was not your fault and you did the right thing to survive!

Breathe. If you feel overwhelmed, try to relax and take deep breaths using meditation and relaxation exercises.

Getting enough sleep is often overlooked, but of vital importance to your well-being.

Exercise, even small amounts, can help combat feelings of sadness or depression.

Help manage your thoughts and feelings by keeping a journal.

Appreciate yourself and your strength for having survived. You may wish that you were able to do things differently and prevent what happened, but you made important decisions that allowed you to survive.

Be patient with yourself. It takes time to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Reassure yourself. Your feelings are natural. There is no one “right” way to feel after an assault.

For more details and additional self-care tips, visit the RAINN website

Medical Centers:

Seek medical attention and/or evidence collection at the following hospitals if the violence/sexual assault occurred within the last 72 hours. A specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is usually available, and an advocate will be called to assist you. All central Ohio emergency departments should be able to provide these services. This is just a partial list of emergency departments:

Licking Memorial Hospital​ | (740) 348-4000

OSU Student Health Services  | (614) 292-4321 (Provides medical care, addresses concerns about sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, discusses resources, and provides follow-up care. The SHC does not collect evidence)

​Reporting Agencies:

To report an act of sexual violence that happened on-campus to a legal authority, contact the Campus Security office. If the incident occurred off-campus, please contact the Newark Police Department.

Support & Advocacy:

It’s important to get help when dealing with issues related to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, or stalking in order to heal from the effects of these issues.

Counseling & Consultation Service | (740) 364-9578 (Provides free, confidential services for students at any time during the recovery process)

24-Hour Rape Helpline | (614) 267-7020 (Provides anonymous support and information)

CHOICES (24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline) | (614) 224-4663​

For more information, refer to the: Sexual Violence Response Guidelines​

Know a Survivor?

This section offers information for friends or family members of survivors, also known as co-survivors. Thank you for caring and seeking help! It can be hard to know what to do to help a friend or family member who is a survivor of sexual violence.

What to say to a survivor:

  • I’m sorry this happened to you.
  • It wasn’t your fault.
  • You survived; obviously you did the right things.
  • Thank you for telling me.
  • I’m always here if you want to talk.
  • Can I do anything for you?

​What NEVER to say to a survivor:

  • It was your fault.
  • You could have avoided it had you __________.
  • It’s been so long! Get over it!
  • You wanted it.
  • It’s not that big of deal; it happens to lots of people.
  • I don’t believe you.

​DO respect the survivor enough to not pity them.

DON’T assume he/she does/does not want to be touched. Some people can’t stand a hug at this point. Others can’t make it without one.

DO comfort them. Make the environment comfortable.

DON’T try to solve all of their problems for them. They have had their control taken away. Try to avoid doing that again.

DO allow them to tell them as much or as little as they need.

DON’T assume you know how the survivor feels.

​​Further suggestions:

Making statements such as “it’s ok” or “you’re going to be fine” may serve to minimize the survivor’s feelings and downplay the seriousness of the violence.

Encourage the survivor to seek counseling and post-trauma services.

Be willing to say nothing. If you don’t know what to say, that’s okay. The most powerful statement a friend can make is by simply being there, not trying to fix everything or pretending it’s okay. Silence often says more than words.

Review myths vs. facts​ about sexual violence.

Examine your own attitudes and feelings about sexual violence.  Don’t allow the myths to affect how you perceive the survivor.

Find your own support, because as secondary survivor you are also affected.

If you would like to speak with someone on campus about being a secondary survivor, contact the Student Life Office. 

​Click for Quick Resource Guide and Sexual Violence Response Guidelines​