YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts – A Voice for Women and Girls

Rape Crisis

Hands stacked, ethnicStaff work to help people who have experienced sexual assault regain a sense of control and power over their own lives, and to understand that they are not at fault.

We work toward ending sexual assault and violence in our community by offering counseling and services to victims, survivors and their non-offending loved ones.

All services are free and confidential.

Anyone in need of Sexual Assault or Rape Crisis services may call us…
during business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 978.682.3039, or
after hours, at our 24-hour hotline: 877-509-YWCA (9922).

What is Sexual Assault or Rape?

Sexual assault is any forced or coerced sexual activity or which occurs without mutual consent.

Sexual assault is a violent crime, whether or not it involves physical force. It stems from a desire to hold power and control over another person.

Rape is a legal term in Massachusetts. It is defined by 3 basic elements:
– penetration of any orifice by any object;
– force or threat of force; and
– penetration against the will of the victim.

Anyone – regardless of gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity or socio-economic status – can be victims of sexual assault or rape

Our services are free and confidential. Here is how we can help:

  • We  staff a 24-hour confidential hotline offering support for survivors of rape, sexual assault or incest.
  • Staff will accompany survivors to the doctor’s office, hospital, police station or court house. We work closely with hospitals, police departments and courts on the North Shore to provide the support which sexual assault survivors need.
  • We offer individual and group counseling to survivors and their non-offending family members and partners.
  • We provide referrals to therapists, substance abuse treatment programs, lawyers, health providers and other professional support services.
  • Our legal advocates help survivors navigate the often confusing legal system when seeking protective orders (restraining orders) or other legal remedies.
  • We provide in-school education programs that reach more than 3,500 middle and high school students each year who learn about healthy relationships and teen dating violence.
  • We offer community education programs that can be customized to meet the needs of different audiences, and we work to help the community put an end to sexual assault, violence and rape.

How do I know if I am eligible for YWCA Rape and Sexual Assault services?

  • Our program serves sexual assault survivors aged 12 and older, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.  We service the following communities: Amesbury, Beverly, Danvers, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Merrimac, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, Peabody, Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham, and West Newbury. However, if you live outside of these cities or towns, you may choose to work with us, or ask us for a referral in your area.
  • Services are available free of charge and are open to survivors, as well as non-offending friends or family members who may also need support.
  • The first step is to call the 24-Hour Hotline at 800.922.8772 and talk to a counselor who will listen, learn about your situation, and help you take the necessary steps to recover.

How do I know if I need help?

It is important to know that you are not at fault for what happened. Although every person is different, sexual assault and rape survivors often report a wide range of feelings or reactions, including:

  • Feelings of sadness, grief, anger, shame or fear
  • Feelings of powerlessness, isolation or anxiety
  • Changes in sexual behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • A spiritual or religious crisis
  • Flashbacks or sleep disturbances such as nightmares

These feelings may come and go, sometimes over the course of many years. Counselors are trained to help recent victims, as well as survivors for whom months or years have passed. We can help you and your loved ones through the recovery process.