Deciding what to do after a sexual assault can be scary and overwhelming. However, there are several options and resources available to support you with safety, justice, and healing. The You Have the Right campaign is a public awareness initiative to help empower survivors, loved ones, family, and friends with resources and information about Colorado’s sexual assault reporting options. If you are between the ages of 18-69 and choose to, you can keep your privacy and decide whether you want to report to police now, not at all, or collect evidence if you may want to in the future. Ultimately, you have the right to privately receive support, and your private information will not be shared unless you give consent.
We have information for victim advocates, law enforcement, mental health practitioners, and medical personnel to assist you in understanding the rights and options available to survivors. Over the last fifteen years, state and federal laws have developed several reporting options for adult survivors of sexual assault (18-69 years old). This website includes information specific to Colorado, including advocacy services, medical forensic exam programs, and other supportive resources. We hope this information will help you as you consider what to do next.
At a Glance
I Don't Know What To Do
You may be feeling all sorts of emotion after experiencing sexual assault. It can be overwhelming and confusing. You may be trying to figure out what happened, whether to tell anyone, and/or what your next steps should be. Sometimes, you might even feel guilty or ashamed about what happened. It is never your fault if you are sexually assaulted. You are never to blame for any portion of it. All the questions and emotions you are feeling and asking are valid and completely normal. These feelings can make it hard to make a decision.
Through this website, we are here to let you know you are not alone and that there are confidential resources for you to talk through your needs, questions, and options. You don’t have to know what you want or need to use these resources. There are also phone lines where folks on the phone can assist you in untangling all the thoughts you may be having that may feel mixed up and unclear.
In the state of Colorado, you do have options. We recognize that sometimes you just need time to understand your options and think through what you want to do.
One of the options is to seek help at a medical facility that provides specialized sexual assault survivor care. These programs are called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) or Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) programs. They have specially trained nurses who can work with you and make sure you are okay. They can also collect evidence if you would like.
Find Support Services
Need Help Explaining What Happened?
Deciding to tell someone you love about your experience is completely up to you. You can decide how much or little you want to tell. It can be scary to think about sharing what happened with friends and/or family and you might not even know where to start. You deserve to know it was not your fault and be supported. It can help to talk to one of the resources on this site to talk through what you’re feeling and how to talk to people in your life about it. For more information on what to expect and what a plan could look like, check out this page by RAINN.
What if what happened isn't legally considered sexual assault?
It is completely normal to feel confused after experiencing harassment or an assault. If you are not sure whether your experience is sexual assault, this does not mean that you did not experience other forms of violence, harm, or harassment. There are other forms of violence that may not be sexual assault, such as physical, emotional, verbal, or psychological. See the resources below for further support: