HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault and according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) most victims know the abuser.
Sexual assault advocate for the Harlingen Family Crisis Center, Samantha Flores, said victims typically show signs of trauma and behavioral changes like depression, harming themselves, or anxiety.
In most cases, victims are scared to come forward but when they do, it is important for them to know they have a support system.
“The first thing we want to do is hear them, sometimes they just want to be heard after they have explained their story and told you what they have to say,” she said.
According to Flores, the next step would be seeking help.
“It could be either going to the nearest hospital, calling 911, going to the law enforcement directly, or even calling here,” she said.
Flores said the Family Crisis Center provides counseling, legal options, emergency transportation, and more.
“If you know anyone who has been sexually assaulted please refer them to us if you don’t know what to do because I know it’s hard; we can go ahead and guide them,” she said.
Flores said the National Sexual Assault Hotline number is also available at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).