This page provides information about various on- and off-campus resources available to survivors of sexual, domestic, and dating violence. We invite you to use them to help support yourself and others! We also welcome you to contact our Project SAFE staff to discuss these resources and any others that are available.
Experiencing trauma, or being the person someone discloses details of trauma to, can be a confusing and overwhelming experience for survivors and allies alike. Here are some helpful tips to consider as you make your way towards a healing path that works best for you.
Navigating the aftermath of violence is a deeply personal journey, and we here at Project S.A.F.E. seek to offer support to survivors in the ways that best meet their needs. While you consider your options, we hope you find the following list of tips and reminders helpful. As a survivor, remember that you have the right to:
- You have the right to healing and recovery. Healing after an experience of sexual violence is a process, and it looks different for everyone, but it is possible. There is no timeline for recovery, it may take weeks, months, or even years, and the journey of healing has its ups and downs. You have the right to feel your feelings and express yourself.
- You have the right to be believed and to receive support services like therapy, advocacy, crisis intervention, and safety planning. You have the right to trauma-informed care. You have the right to ask for help.
- You have the right to choose who, how, and when you wish to disclose your experience, if at all.
- You have the right to do nothing.
- You have the right to request or decline a medical examination.
- You have the right to report, or not report, the assault to the police and/or Title IX.
Should you choose to receive a medical examination:
- You have the right tobe treated with dignity and respect and to be protected from embarassment or invasion of privacy.
- You have the right to have a rape crisis counselor advocate and a support person of your choosing present during the sexual assault evidentiary exam or physical exam [Penal Code 264.2].
- You have the right to a free sexual assault medical forensic exam within 5 days of the sexual assault. The exam will address your healthcare needs and collect evidence. You have this right regardless of whether you choose to file a police report.
- You have the right to choose whether to release your kit to law enforcement and make a police report immediately, or for your evidence kit to be stored at the healthcare facility for at least one year.
Should you choose to report:
- You have the right tobe treated with dignity and respect and to be protected from embarassment or invasion of privacy.
- You have the right to have a rape crisis counselor advocate present for any interview by law enforcement authorities, district attorneys, or defense attorneys [Penal Code 679.04].
- If you received a forensic medical exam and you choose to release your kit to the police, you have the right to forensic testing of the Sexual Assault Kit and the right to know the results of that testing.
- You have the right to ask for the status and results of the analysis of all evidence related to your assault.
- You have the right to request in writing and receive a FREE copy of the initial crime report related to your assault.
- If your assailant is convicted and required to register as a sex offender, you have the right to request their sex offender registry information from the prosecutor.
For allies - when a survivor confides in you
The following tips for supporting survivors was provided by Me Too.
- Language matters. Consider using phrases like:
"I Believe you."
"Thank you for telling me. That was really brave."
"It's not your fault."
"I'm here for you."
- Check your language. Do not use terms like “should,” “have to,” etc. Do not assign them a label. Let them define their experience and how they talk about it on their own. They might not be ready or in a place to identify as a survivor, or define in specific language what happened to them. Do not make promises you can’t keep. Sometimes folks just need a listening ear. That is an important role to play.
- After someone has disclosed to you, don’t initiate conversation about the assault.
- Actively listen. Respect when they want to engage, and when they don’t. Be present in the conversation and maintain soft eye contact. Put away all electronic devices.
- Stick with affirming language. Validate what they share, as they share it.
- Be mindful of where you are when the survivor is sharing. Can someone overhear the conversation? Are you both in a safe place?
- Maintain confidentiality at all times. There’s a reason why you were told. If the person who discloses wants other folks to know, they will tell them.
- Don’t move into savior mode. This isn’t about you, it’s about them.
- Survivors deserve autonomy. You are there to listen not to act. Let them make their own decisions about what action, if any, they will take.
- Ask if there is anything they need from you. Don’t assume. If they make requests, honestly check in with yourself and let them know if you can meet them or not.
- Ask for consent before any physical touch happens. Respect their wishes and thank them for taking care of themselves.
- Make space for them to feel whatever emotions they are feeling and let them know that all of them are valid. Sometimes survivors experience regret from disclosing or fear of judgement.
- Don’t ask for details. Just because someone has disclosed their survivor status does not mean they want to disclose everything. You risk re-traumatizing survivors and forcing them to replay their abuse when you ask questions to things they haven’t offered. They might also feel like they are being interrogated, which is not the position you want to take.
- Don’t ask them who their abuser is. Naming their abuser doesn’t legitimize what they’re saying. What they are saying is already valid. They can share that information with you if and when they want.
- Some survivors dissociate in order to protect themselves. Coping mechanisms are strategies people processing trauma use to help manage their day-to-day emotions and mental well-being. Work to bring a sense of community to the survivor, not judgment.
- Educate yourself. Research laws and policies that support survivors. Don’t expect the survivor to do the work for you.
- Pace yourself and maintain your boundaries. Say no when you need to. This supports yourself and the survivor.
- Be mindful of what kind of support you offer. Offer only what you can sustain. You don’t want to make the survivor feel like they are too much or regret the fact that they disclosed to you at all.
- Healing is a long, non-linear journey. Patience is key. Change will not happen overnight.
For more resources on supporting a survivor:
- Visit the Me Too webpage.
- Check out We Speak About It
- Useful tips to consider when you suspect that someomne is a survivor, but they have not disclosed to you here.
Some of the following resources are confidential, meaning that they will not share any information with the College, Title IX, the police, or anyone else, unless there is an imminent risk of harm to self or others. If you are undecided about filing a Title IX and/or police report, be sure to ASK if the person you are speaking to is a confidential resrouce before disclosing details about your experience. It is important to note that disclosing information about your experience to someone who is not a confidential resource may result in a mandated report.
Project SAFE Survivor Advocates
The Project SAFE Survivor Advocate, Lizzy Denny, is a confidential resrouce, whom can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 259-4750. Survivor advocates are a confidential resource who can offer a wide variety of supportive measures. Read more about what they can do for you here.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with a survivor advocate, use the link below.
Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL)
Emmons Wellness Center Counselors
The Emmons Wellness Center offers confidential counseling services by appointment as well as for drop-ins and crisis walk-in hours. To make an appointment call (323) 259-2657. A list of support groups at Emmons and specific drop-in hours can be found here. Crisis walk-in hours are from 3:00-4:15 PM Monday through Friday.
Additionally, students who have OSHIP insurance have access to HealthiestYou, a free online therapy service. To access HealthiestYou, go to http://go.healthiestyou.com/student/. You'll use your Oxy sign-in information for your account info. Services are free for students enrolled in the Oxy Student Health Insurance Plan, and offered for a fee to all other students. More information about how to access this service can be found here.
For students without OSHIP insurance, Emmons has partnered with BetterHelp to provide access to 3 months of licensed, professional online therapy at no cost. Please check back in your inbox week for an email from BetterHelp with your unique invite link, if you are interested.
Oxy 24-Hour Crisis Hotline
Call (323) 341-4141 to access Occidental College's confidential 24-hour crisis hotline.
Call (323) 259-2599 to speak with an on-duty Campus Safety officer. Please note that Campus Safety personnel are not confidential resources, and may have to file a Title IX report if you disclose specific details.
The Title IX Office is not a confidential resource, as it handles the investigation and resolution of complaints of harassment and sexual/relationship violence among Occidental community members. The Title IX Office is also responsible for holding the College accountable to its federal requirement to address sex and gender-based discrimination. Alexandra Fulcher, the Title IX Coordinator, can be reached via email.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with both a Project SAFE Advocate and Title IX, use the link below. This would be a great option for someone who would like an advocate to accompany them to a meeting with Title IX for reasons including, but not limited to: navigating questions about the Title IX reporting process; receiving emotional support during the process and/or help with safety planning before, during, and after reporting.
Project S.A.F.E. is happy to provide referalls to any of these off-campus resources, where survivors and allies can find mental health, medical, and legal assistance. Visit the Project S.A.F.E. office for a referral, or drop by/call the program you are interested in directly at the numbers listed below.
For emergency services or referrals, dial or text 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
For emergency in-person services (including but not limited to: 24-hour advocacy services, 24-hour mental health crisis needs, 24-hour access to medical examinations (e.g. "rape kit"), and 24-hour access to legal support), call or visit the closest Sexual Assault Response Team Centers here:
The remainder of this list includes nearby organizations that provide non-emergency support for survivors and allies, including counseling, support groups, survivors circles, and other incredible healing programming!
The Jenesse Center
The Jenesse Center is a nonprofit domestic violence intervention and prevention organization with a resolute mission: to restore, and provide trauma informed, culturally responsive, holistic, comprehensive services to survivors and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence, and to advance prevention modalities to sustain healthy and safe communities free of violence. They provide prevention services, including education and community outreach, as well as intervention services, which include: case management, vocational training, health services, housing and shelter assistance, legal services, transportation, counseling and mental health services. They can be reached at their 24/7 hotline here: (800) 799-7233
Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center
The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center provides 24/7, free, expert, comprehensive care for sexual assault victims. Services include emergency medical treatment and forensic services, crisis counseling and longer-term psychotherapy, and advocacy. The center can also provide accompaniments to police stations, medical centers and court proceedings. They can be reached at (424) 259-7208.
Los Angeles LGBT Center
The LA LGBT Center provides services by LGBT+ domestic violence specialists, including certified domestic violence counselors, mental health professionals and attorneys. They are located in Hollywood and can be reached at (323) 993-7649 for legal services and (323) 860-5806 for advocacy services.
Peace Over Violence
Peace Over Violence (POV) offers emergency, intervention, prevention, education, and advocacy services for survivors and their support people. Serviced are offered in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. Their 24-hour hotline can be reached at (213) 626-3393.
Strength United is dedicated to ending abuse and empowering survivors. The organization provides counseling for victims of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, as well as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), a client-centered program that provides emergency response to reports of child sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. Located in Van Nuys, Strength United can be reached at (818) 787-9700. For 24-hour support, they have a referral and response crisis line that can be reached at (818) 886-0453.
Center for the Pacific Asian Family
The Center for the Pacific Asian Family aims to address domestic violence and sexual assault in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Services, including a 24/7 helpline, counseling and case management, and emergency and transitional shelters, are free, confidential and are available in more than 30 Asian and Pacific Islander languages. Located in Koreatown, they can be reached at (800) 339-3940.
East Los Angeles Women's Center
The East Los Angeles Women's Center delivers innovative, comprehensive, culturally-responsive services that build on a foundation of trauma-informed, evidence-based practices designed to heal, support, protect, and empower the communities we serve. Services are offered to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking, and include advocacy services, advocate accompaniment, and mental health services. They can be reached at their bilingual (Eng/Span), 24-hour crisis hotline at (800) 585-6231.
Violence Intervention Program
The Violence Intervention Program aims to protect and treat all victims of family violence and sexual assault. Services, which range from child, adult, and elderly care, include a holistic combination of mental health services and medical services. In addition, the VIP Sexual Assault Center has medical experts available 24/7 to provide forensic and medical exams in a calm, panic-free environment in order to help prevent victims of abuse from having to experience further trauma. The mental health center can be reached at (323) 221-4134, and the Sexual Assault Center can be reached at (323) 409-3800.