We envision a community FREE of domestic violence and sexual assault
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REACH 24/7 Crisis Hotline (828) 837-8064
Do you want to talk? We will listen. All services are free and confidential. We offer support groups, individual support, resources and referrals. Call today or just drop by and let us help you now.
REACH of Cherokee County, Inc. will lead our community in eliminating domestic violence & sexual assault through education, advocacy, self-empowerment and community awareness.
Support Center for Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
To learn how to help someone in an abusive relationship or to get help for yourself, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at
For more information on rape and sexual violence services, contact RAINN—the Rape Abuse Incest National Network at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE) or by secure, online private chat HERE.
For teens and youth, call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 or live chat at www.loveisrespect.org.
To find more information regarding male survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, check out Men Can Stop Rape’s Resources for Male Survivors. Men who may have had unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood, family members, friends, and partners of men who may have had those experiences can also use the 1in6 Online SupportLine—a free, confidential, and secure service—to get help.
For more information for survivors, friends, and family, visit NO MORE.
I need more resources. Where can I turn?
The best thing to do is to listen without judgment and provide help when needed. Here’s a more detailed list of helpful responses for friends and family.
My friend was assaulted and I’m struggling with how to offer support. What can I do?
Drugs or alcohol are often used to compromise your ability to consent to sexual activity. It’s not your friend’s fault. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network has explicit suggestions and resources for coping if you’ve experienced sexual assault while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
My friend was assaulted at a party while drunk, and she’s blaming herself. How can she get support?
In an emergency, call 911. Call REACH for free confidential counseling, 24 hours a day: 828-837-8064. The call is anonymous unless you choose to share personally identifying information. You’ll be connected to the REACH crisis center and an advocate may be able to meet you at the hospital.
I’ve been assaulted. Where can I get help?
When does rape or sexual assault typically occur?
Rape and sexual assault can happen at any time. However, most victims of rape and sexual assault are females younger than 24. Forty-two percent have been raped before age 18. As for guys, researchers estimate that 1 in 6 men experience unwanted or abusive sexual contact before age 18.
What is Consent?
Consent is a clear “yes” to your partner. It is not the absence of a “no.”
It’s a specific type of sexual assault. It involves any forced, manipulated, or coerced penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth by a penis or other object. It is not a crime of passion. It’s a crime of violence—often used to scare or degrade the victim. It’s a common misconception that sexual assault and rape are perpetrated by strangers. Most survivors know their perpetrators. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, 60 percent of survivors are assaulted by an intimate partner, relative, friend, or acquaintance. This rate is even higher for women who were assaulted or raped in college.
What is Rape?
“Sexual assault” is any unwanted sexual, physical, verbal, or visual act that forces someone to have sexual contact against his or her will. It’s motivated by the need to control, humiliate, and harm. Some examples are: harassment, rape, incest, oral sex, molestation, forcing someone to pose for pictures, and unwanted touching.
What is Sexual Assault?
Some medical concerns may not be immediately apparent, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), internal injuries and pregnancy. Even if you do not wish to have a doctor or nurse collect evidence for an investigation, please obtain a medical exam to protect yourself as soon as possible from further physical harm. Some medications, such as the “morning after pill” for pregnancy and antibiotics for STDs are most effective when administered as soon as possible. Medical care may also preserve evidence of the assault, should you wish to pursue criminal charges immediately or in the future.
Remember that you are an important person, deserving of the best treatment possible. Let those you seek help from, whether it's a rape crisis center advocate, medical staff/or law enforcement help you today. REACH provides free and confidential services.
You may choose to call the police to have the offender arrested and charged with a crime. If you do, a medical exam may be taken to preserve evidence of the assault (sometimes called a “rape kit”). Police investigators may be able to take evidence from your clothing and body to prove the offender committed the crime. A nurse examiner will look for injuries related to the assault, proof that sexual activity occurred, and DNA from the offender on the victim’s clothing and/or body. Therefore, please do not eat, urinate, shower, bathe, douche, or brush your hair in order to preserve any evidence that can be used against the offender. Investigators will also need all of the clothing that you were wearing at the time of the assault, so please do not change clothes or wash any of the clothes that you were wearing (and bring a change of clothes with you). The cost of the exam is free and paid by state funds. Note that the offender may also be medically examined for evidence.
A medical exam can be a powerful tool to put the offender behind bars, but it can also be very difficult emotionally to be medically examined after an assault. Most rape crisis centers have trained advocates that can stay with you at the hospital to support you. If you would like, call for a rape crisis center advocate at (828) 837-8064 or ask law enforcement or hospital staff to call the REACH for you, so that an advocate can be with you for support.
Contact friends and family you trust. Although they may not always understand how you feel, they know you the best and care about you. For free, confidential help and support with questions you can also contact REACH at (828) 837-8064. Every question you have is valid and important. REACH can also provide assistance at the hospital, at the police station or court, and with counseling if you wish. Whether the assault occurred today or years ago, REACH of Cherokee County is for anyone who has experienced a sexual assault.
Advice and Emotional Support
If you have recently been assaulted, your safety must come first. Please call 911 if you are in immediate danger. Also, do not hesitate to seek medical care if you are injured. REACH advocates can also help you with a safety plan if the offender is someone you live with or work with.
If you have been sexually assaulted recently or some time ago, you may be experiencing a wide range of feelings, from shock, fear, disbelief, recurring memories, outrage, confusion, sadness, despair, and anger. Please do not lose hope. All of your feelings are valid. You did not deserve this and the offender is the only person who should be blamed. There are many who can be of help to you now. To contact a REACH advocate, call (828) 837-8064. Below are some of the options that you have. Please read them all so that you keep open as many options as possible, especially if the assault has just happened.
Contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
If You’ve Been Raped