What is sexual assault? And how does KCSARC help?


Category: Crisis Response, Legal Advocacy, Prevention & Education, Therapy

Type: Blog

Sexual assault is any unwanted or illegal sexual contact or behavior. That includes rape, child sexual abuse, groping, and other behaviors.

In all forms, sexual violence can traumatize victims and leave them feeling like they have lost power and control, stripping them of their own agency.

Sexual assault is not ever a victim’s fault. But many survivors feel there was something they could have done to prevent their assault, or that what happened to them wasn’t real or wasn’t that bad. These are common reactions that stop victims from speaking up and getting the support they need to heal.

How does KCSARC help?

The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, an independent, community-based nonprofit, exists to empower survivors and their families with information and the resources they need to overcome trauma of sexual assault, and to stop sexual violence from happening in the first place.

To address trauma following a sexual assault, we offer comprehensive and confidential services that respond to highly specific and individualized needs of each survivor and their family.

Cost is never a barrier to KCSARC services, which are available in both Spanish and English. Survivors can access:

  1. A 24-hour Resource Line at 888.998.6423 for crisis response, information, and referral for further services.
  2. Advocacy to navigate legal and medical systems that can be complex and overwhelming.
  3. Support for parents and caregivers, to help them understand how they can support their child’s healing.
  4. Trauma-focused, evidence-based therapy that is considered gold standard practice for treating PTSD and serious depression/anxiety, specifically related to sexual assault.
  5. Case management to help survivors manage the auxiliary impacts of sexual assault, such as displacement from housing or sources of income.
What does KCSARC do in the community? 

To change the way victims are viewed and treated in the healthcare and criminal justice systems, the media, and in our everyday interactions, KCSARC works on several fronts:

  1. KCSARC prevention educators work directly with schools and community groups to shift learned behaviors and cultural norms that contribute to sexual violence. Our prevention work engages people of all ages to better understand the role of healthy communications in fostering safe and healthy relationships, how to incorporate trauma-informed practices in classrooms, and support cultural shifts that promote non-violence.
  2. Connecting and helping educate hospital/medical, police, Child Protective Services, and other response systems professionals that surround survivors about trauma.
  3. Training groups and individuals who work with victims to help them avoid language that blames victims or minimizes their experience.
  4. Training and supporting survivors who have worked with KCSARC who want to share their story in public settings, including in the legislature, media, and speaking engagements.

Need help or information for yourself or someone you know? Our Resource Line advocates are ready to assist 24 hours a day at 888.99.VOICE.

To learn more about specific services or programs, or to support KCSARC’s work in the community, contact our main office at 425.226.5062 weekdays from 8-5.

Everyone has a role to play in ending sexual assault. Watch to learn more about our work and your role in helping to end sexual assault and abuse:

425.282.0324 — Ayuda en Español

Gratis y confidencial / Llame de lunes a viernes 8 am - 5 pm

Donate Now

888.998.6423 — 24/7 Resource Line

Free and confidential / Call for help or information 24 hours a day