24-Hour Response Services
A specially trained advocate is always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support survivors of sexual violence through our 24-hour hotline or hospital accompaniment. These services are confidential and free of charge.
STSM provides a 24-hour crisis hotline so that survivors can access support and resources at any time. The hotline can be reached by calling (803) 771-7273.
Some reasons people call the hotline include:
- They’ve just been assaulted and want more information about reporting to law enforcement or receiving medical care.
- The caller knows that something happened, but they aren’t sure if it’s assault.
- They are having trouble sleeping or are scared after an assault.
- They are trying to help someone who has been assaulted and don’t know what to say.
- The caller remembers something that happened a long time ago and isn’t sure what to do.
A specially trained advocate is always available to answer your questions. Even if we don’t know the exact answer to your question, we can find the information you are looking for and call you back.
24-Hour Hospital Accompaniment
Every survivor of sexual violence has the right to receive medical treatment following an assault, and seeking medical care is important after an assault. This is an opportunity for survivors to regain control over their life, receive treatment for injuries, and may prevent other health issues as a result of the assault.
Survivors who are able to get to an emergency room within 120 hours of their assault will typically receive the following services:
- A trained advocate from STSM will be called by the hospital. The advocate can provide information and emotional support during the survivor’s time at the hospital, answer common questions about legal and medical processes, assist the survivor in planning for their safety following the assault, and connect the survivor to follow up services and other resources.
- An exam will be completed by a nurse specially trained to work with survivors of sexual violence. The survivor can decline any part of the exam at any time. The exam will vary based on the type of assault, but typically includes:
- An interview that asks for information about the assault and your medical history.
- A medical examination to document and treat any injuries present. This may include a pelvic or anal exam depending on the assault.
- Collection of evidence for a law enforcement investigation, commonly known as a rape kit.
- Medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy as a result of the assault.
- If the survivor wants to report the assault to law enforcement, they may do so at the hospital.
- If the survivor would like evidence collected, but is unsure about reporting to law enforcement, they are entitled to a forensic examination through the process of Anonymous Reporting. The forensic evidence will be stored for up to one year to give the survivor time to decide whether to report the assault to law enforcement. If the assault is not reported, the forensic evidence is destroyed when the year ends. Survivors must be at least 18 years old to request anonymous reporting.
- The State Office of Victim Assistance typically pays for the cost of the forensic examination, regardless of whether or not the survivor chooses to report the assault to law enforcement. The State Office of Victim Assistance also offers a compensation program for other medical expenses related to the assault.
If more than 120 hours have passed since the assault, please consider contacting our 24-hour hotline at (803) 771-7273. We can provide information about other medical treatment options and referrals for medical services and connect you to advocacy and other services offered by STSM.