How a Crisis Response Counselor Can Help

NYU provides immediate comprehensive support for all survivors of sexual assault. Crisis Response Counselors are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year to provide support and to help connect students to all available resources and services at the University and beyond.

The CRC is a trained, licensed professional counselor who will act as your personal liaison throughout the process of accessing care and services following a sexual assault. They will walk you through the medical, counseling, legal, academic, and housing assistance options available. The Crisis Response Counselor can coordinate all services through the Wellness Exchange and the Center for Sexual Misconduct Support Services, so they are a good first point of contact.

Not only will they respond in an immediate emergency, but they also can help you plan and schedule any follow up services and support you might need. Call the Wellness Exchange hotline at (212) 443-9999 or chat via the app anytime– just ask for the CRC. If you are in NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai, or at an NYU global site, we have established local Wellness Exchange phone numbers you can call.

Medical Assistance

A survivor of sexual assault can go to the hospital for a health examination and rape kit up to 96 hours after a sexual assault. When the survivor calls the Wellness Exchange, the CRC will discuss options and provide choices for a hospital. The Wellness Exchange works regularly with Beth Israel Hospital, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, and NYU Langone Medical Center; however, all hospital emergency rooms are equipped to provide medical services following sexual assaults.

Once a decision is made about the choice of hospital, the CRC can accompany the survivor to the hospital if the survivor chooses. The forensic exam and rape kit will include a collection of evidence. Therefore, when possible, it is best not to shower, wash, douche, eat, or drink before you go. It is also important to bring the clothes that were worn at the time of the sexual assault.

At many hospital’s emergency department, an advocate will be made available to the survivor and if the survivor wants they will remain with them throughout the visit; to process their options, advocate with them as needed, answer questions and provide emotional support. The survivor will be given the option to complete a forensic evidence collection kit, have a general medical examination, offered prophylaxis mediations to prevent sexually transmitted infections, HIV and pregnancy and allowed the opportunity to make a police report. The forensic evidence collection kit can be performed by a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) who are nurses, physicians, physician assistants and licensed nurse practitioners that are specially trained to administer this exam but they can also be done by any emergency room physician. The forensic evidence collection kit is optional and completed to preserve evidence while a general medical evaluation can be conducted for any injuries or health concerns. Survivors have the right to decide which steps they would like to complete in the forensic evidence collection kit and can discontinue this exam at any time. Completing the forensic evidence collection kit does not mean that a survivor must make a police report. Police reports for sexual assault are optional and can be done at the time of the emergency room visit or at a later date. If a survivor chooses not to report to the police, the evidence will be stored for 20 years, or until the survivor decides to release it. A survivor will be notified if their evidence is moved and before the storage period ends. Survivors choosing to take HIV post-exposure prophylaxis will be provided with at least a 7-day supply of medication from the emergency room and given options to obtain the complete 28-day treatment. The New York State Office of Victim Services can be directly billed for the expenses related to the forensic exam and sexual assault services received in the emergency department. A survivor does not have to worry about their insurance status or these services being billed to their insurance company.

If the survivor does not choose to have a rape kit completed, they also have the option to go to the NYU Student Health Center, a local health clinic, or their private physician for a general examination, emergency contraception, and sexual transmitted infection treatment and tests. Medical assistance at the SHC is available at Women's Health Services, HIV Testing and Counseling, and Urgent Care Services.

A Crisis Response Counselor can also accompany the survivor to the hospital for a medical examination or evidence kit.

Counseling and Emotional Assistance

A survivor of sexual assault can experience emotional as well as physical consequences. Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that can have both immediate and long-term effects. Initial reactions vary and may include shock, denial, anxiety, guilt, anger, and self-blame. A survivor may experience nightmares, changes in their eating patterns, and depression. Therefore, individuals who have been sexually assaulted are strongly encouraged to obtain help from a professional counselor as soon as they are ready after the incident occurs.

A survivor can call NYU Counseling and Wellness Services at (212) 998-4780 to set up an appointment. Survivors can also call the Wellness Exchange at (212) 443-9999 at any time to speak to a counselor over the telephone or chat via the app anytime– just ask for the CRC. Students can even write a confidential email to the Wellness Exchange at and a counselor will respond within 24 hours.

Drop-in Counseling

Students can choose a virtual drop-in visit — no appointment necessary — to speak briefly with a counselor about a sexual assault incident. Call (212) 443-9999 to make arrangements. These counselors will work with you to develop the most appropriate treatment plan. This can include either a referral to NYU counseling services or an external referral to the community. There is no cost for a Wellness walk-in visit.

Short-term Counseling

Counseling — or psychotherapy — is a professional relationship that focuses on personal problems. The counseling relationship differs from both social friendships and patient-doctor contacts. Unlike friends, counselors are able to be objective; they are not involved in your daily lives. Unlike most doctors, counselors don't give specific advice or tell you what to do. Instead, they serve as skilled listeners who help you to clarify issues, discover your true wishes and feelings, and deal effectively with problems.

NYU Counseling and Wellness Services at the Student Health Center offer short-term counseling, which is a clinical modality of psychotherapy that is time-limited and tailored to each individual’s needs. We listen to and consider each unique person when developing a treatment plan, and join with them to decide on the best course of treatment. Sometimes this means a short-term course of counseling is useful and allows for issues to be addressed effectively.

Sometimes long-term psychotherapy is more helpful and so we’ll discuss our recommendations and your needs and often begin the process of referring to a long-term therapist in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd session. CWS counselors are psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and advanced trainees in those professions. There are male and female counselors, counselors from different racial and national backgrounds, and counselors who specialize in sexual assault and trauma. To make an appointment call us at 212-998-4780.

Long-term Counseling Referrals

Sometimes students may choose to seek counseling outside of NYU, or it may be clinically appropriate to get started in long-term treatment right away. In those cases, CWS and the Wellness Exchange can provide referrals to therapists in the community who provide long-term therapy. We have relationships with many quality therapists who have a variety of specialties and work in many different approaches so we are able to connect you with a therapist who best suits your needs. We also can provide referrals based on insurance, financial need, and location, including areas outside of New York City. To talk about your counseling options and obtain referrals for long-term treatment, call the Wellness Exchange hotline at (212) 443-9999.

Group Counseling

Sometimes students prefer to talk to other students who have had similar experiences for support and perspective. A counseling group can be powerfully healing — for some students, it is one of the most rewarding experiences during their years at NYU. Our sexual assault survivors group helps students who have had sexual encounters or experiences that left them feeling scared, ashamed, uncomfortable, confused, or unsafe in any way. Click here to see current group offerings.

Residential Help

In some cases of sexual assault, you may have residential or housing needs. Ensuring your safety in your living environment is important, so we stand ready to assist in connecting you to the appropriate resources.

NYU's Title IX Coordinator, Mary Signor, is available to discuss your housing needs and assist you in obtaining appropriate and available housing accommodations through our Residential Life and Housing Office. If you would prefer for your counselor to speak to Mary Signor on your behalf, you can ask for their support by calling the Wellness Exchange Hotline at (212) 443-9999. Additionally, the Crisis Response Counselor is always available to talk with you about your options, both on and off campus.

Academic Help

In the case of a sexual assault or any kind of sexual violence and misconduct, survivors may have a variety of responses and feelings that may impact functioning. We realize there may be academic needs, and we are available to help assist you in receiving support from your school. The Title IX Coordinator, Mary Signor, can assist you in this process and is able to keep information private, only sharing key information to those who need to know. You can contact Mary Signor directly or the CRC can help you in connecting with her to discuss any academic concerns you may have.