Emotional Support

Emotions & Self-Care

Seeking Support

  • Counselor / Therapist / Psychologist: You can talk confidentially to a counselor at the on-campus Counseling Center free of charge. It’s okay to seek outside support and talk to a professional therapist, counselor, or psychologist in the local community.
  • Crisis Centers: Crisis centers are places dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault or abuse and often provide counseling, support programs, legal referrals, and access to advocates (also called Rape Crisis Centers). Find a center near you: Support In the Area.
  • Advocates: Sometimes called survivor advocates or victim advocates, these are compassionate allies who can support you by accompanying you to a medical or forensic exam, explaining your reporting options, helping you find psychological/emotional support and referring you to legal resources. Connect with the local crisis center in your area to talk to an advocate.

Common Emotional Responses

There is no right or wrong emotional response to an experience of unwanted sexual contact; each person will have their own reaction. It’s common to experience a mix of emotions and feelings, like sadness, anger, confusion, shame, or uncertainty of what to do next.

It can be useful to seek support and practice active self-care to aid the healing process.  Below are some tips and reminders for taking care of yourself throughout your process.


Self-care is an important part of healing. While you may feel pressure from others to respond in a certain way, your only obligation is to your own healing.  You are in the best position to know what you need.

  • Check in with yourself about your sleeping, eating, exercise, and substance use patterns. Your physical health is directly connected to your emotional well-being. If you feel tired or emotionally drained, consider incorporating meditation or other relaxation practices into your daily routine.
  • Processing what happened in a safe environment is important; if you do not feel safe in your school environment due to ongoing contact with the perpetrator, you have the right to change your housing accommodations or class schedule. Read more about HWS Policies and Your Title IX Rights.
  • You have the right to assistance. The Title IX Coordinator can assist you with support services such as academic accommodations, no contact orders, and facilitation of change in housing.

Remember that you are not alone, and it's okay to seek out support, whether through friends, an advocate, online communities, a crisis center, or a counselor or therapist.

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Support from HWS

For emotional support from HWS, contact the Counseling Center. Students can utilize the Counseling Center free of charge.

For office hours or to make an appointment online, visit the Counseling Center’s website. During office hours, you can reach the Counseling Center at (315) 781-3388. An after-hours crisis line is available via Campus Safety at (315) 781-3333; ask the responding officer for the crisis manager on-call. You do not have to give your name or say why you are calling.

After hours, there is always a counselor available for emergencies, 24 hours a day. Call Campus Safety at Emergency Line (315) 781-3333 and ask to speak with the counselor on-call. (You do not need to say why you are calling for the counselor.)

You may also find support from the Office for Spiritual Engagement. You can reach Chaplain Nita Byrd at (315) 781-3670.

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In the Area

Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes is a local rape crisis and domestic violence hotline. They provide free, confidential support and advocacy for anyone who has experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. (315) 781-1093 / 1-800-247-7273

Students can reach the Safe Harbors College Liaison by texting the college text line at 315-719-2427 Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To reach Safe Harbors 24/7, students should call 1-800-247-7273.

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Nationally & Globally

Nonconsensual or unwanted sexual contact is never okay, regardless of the state or country in which it occurs. Below are resources to find information and support nationally and internationally.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
RAINN is the largest US network supporting survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and offers a free, completely anonymous and confidential 24/7 online chat service that you can access from anywhere around the globe. Chat with a trained RAINN support specialist anytime at online.rainn.org. Learn more at the RAINN resources website.   

U.S. Department of State -  Office of Overseas Citizens Services
The State Department can help you contact family or friends, obtain medical care, address emergency needs, understand the local criminal justice process and connect with local and/or US-based resources for victims of crime, including local legal representation. The first step is often connecting with the local US consulate or embassy.

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