Sexual assault is a crime of violence, not sex. Relationship violence is abuse and not love. You did not bring this upon yourself and it is not your fault. Experiencing a sexual assault or relationship violence can be traumatic, and reactions can be varied, in time and in kind. It’s important to be attentive to your own, individual experience, and to understand that there is no right way to react. We can help guide you in understanding your experience and help support you at any and all stages of the process.

To talk more about your experience and to get support, call the Wellness Exchange at (212) 443-9999 or chat via the app anytime – just ask for a Crisis Response Counselor (CRC). Your conversations with Wellness Exchange counselors are confidential, so you can ask any questions you have. We also have established local phone numbers to reach the Wellness Exchange around the world — whether you are in NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai, or at an NYU global site.

I was sexually assaulted in the past and/or previously in an abusive relationship. What can I do?

Sexual assault and relationship violence, no matter when it happens, can change your life. It can change your view of yourself and others. You may experience changes in your sleeping and eating patterns. You may have nightmares or flashbacks about the assault. You may be afraid of being alone, fear being in crowds, have difficulty in your relationships, or experience challenges returning to your normal activities. Support and help are available for you.

You can call the Wellness Exchange 24/7 at (212) 443-9999 or chat via the app anytime to talk about your experience. Counseling is also available at Counseling and Wellness Services by appointment or on an urgent same-day basis.

I don't know what to call my experience, but I don't feel comfortable with a sexual encounter and/or relationship I had.

If you've had a sexual encounter that left you feeling uncomfortable or violated, but you are not quite sure what to call it, there are people available to listen and support you. Additionally, if you are not sure if your current or past relationship is healthy or abusive then there are counselors able to help you process this. The following are such resources:

The NYU Wellness Exchange

(212) 443-9999 |
Chat via the app anytime — just ask for the CRC.

Speak with a counselor — you don't have to give your name. We can connect you with NYU resources as well as resources and referrals in the community.

Counseling and Wellness Services

(212) 998-4780 |
Call to access NYU’s short-term counseling, group counseling, and psychiatry. Want to speak to a counselor without an appointment? Arrange an urgent same-day counseling session. Want to discuss your feelings in a group setting? Find a group!

I'm feeling so many different emotions about this experience. Is this normal?

Reactions to a traumatic experience such as sexual assault and relationship violence vary from person to person. The following are examples of both physical and emotional reactions that a person who experiences trauma might have.

Physical Reactions:

  • Aches and Pains: headaches, backaches, stomach aches
  • Sudden sweating, heart palpitations
  • Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, interest in sex
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Easily startled by noises or unexpected touch
  • More susceptible to colds and illness

Emotional Reactions:

  • Shock
  • Disbelief
  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Denial
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Self-Blame
  • Concern for the rapist
  • Lack of concentration resulting in academic difficulties

Call the Wellness Exchange Hotline at (212) 443-9999 or chat via the app anytime and ask for a Crisis Response Counselor (CRC). They can talk through your medical, mental health, and legal options and meet with you in person. Available 24 hours a day, every day.