Counseling Services

Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence

On this page:

In case of emergency, call 911

Counseling Services is a confidential resource on campus. This means that we are not obligated to report cases of sexual assault or relationship violence to campus administration. We can support you in your healing, and offer choices so that you can make the best decisions for you. Student Medical Services and the Confidential Advocate for the Office of Equal Opportunity, are the other confidential resources on campus.

For more information about your right to be free of sexual misconduct on campus and for resources about reporting violations, please see the Title IX Office webpage.

Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted

  • Go to a safe place, and reach out for help and support.
  • Call 911 if you wish to report to the police.
  • Call the YWCA Sexual Assault Support Services Hotline: (808) 935-0677
  • Know the assault is not your fault and you are not alone.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Learn about your options to report.
  • Preserve evidence of the assault.

The Title IX Office can provide assistance and interim measures for students whether or not they choose to report sexual assault, harassment, domestic/dating violence, or stalking.

People who experience sexual assault may experience

  • Feelings of loss of control.
  • Feeling of shock, disbelief, and numbness and may have difficulty concentrating.
  • A period of acting as if nothing happened (after the initial shock).
  • Feelings of fear.
  • Flashbacks and/or nightmares.

If you or your friend has not experienced any of these, it does not mean there is something wrong with how you are healing from the assault. The feelings you experience are part of the healing process, and everyone experiences trauma and heals differently.

How to help a friend

  • Be supportive and do not judge.
  • Allow him or her to make choices. Do not question.
  • Expect a range of emotions.
  • Be patient.
  • Encourage him or her to get help, but know that only s/he can make that decision.
  • Be a friend. If you see someone at risk or witness abuse or assault, get help to intervene in a safe way.
  • Self care is important. If you have experienced sexual violence, helping your friend may bring up difficult feelings. It may be time to take care of yourself by seeking help from the resources on this page.

Intimate Partner Violence

If you experience domestic or dating violence and are in crisis, go to a safe place and reach out for help and support.

Counseling and Response to Trauma

Whether it was a one-time sexual assault or on-going stalking or domestic violence, violations to our basic right to safety and respect in relationships can be intense physical and emotional experiences. It can be hard to process and recover from these kinds of experiences on our own.

Survivors may find themselves experiencing some of these common reactions to trauma:

  • Feelings of fear
  • Feelings of loss of control
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feelings of negativity towards themselves
  • Feelings of depression
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Problems in their relationships
  • Avoiding memories, feelings, people, or places associated with their experience

In addition to on-campus counselors trained in trauma care, there are also therapists in the community who specialize in treating those who have experienced trauma.

UH Hilo Resources

Community and National Resources