Emotional Support

Support from Stanford

The Confidential Support Team (CST) offers free, confidential support to Stanford students impacted by sexual assault and relationship violence, including domestic abuse, intimate partner abuse, stalking and sexually or gender-based harassment. CST services include immediate emotional support and ongoing individual counseling. CST provides information about rights and reporting options, support throughout the reporting process if pursued and help connecting with other on- and off-campus resources. Additionally, CST supports friends and other allies who have questions about how to help a survivor of sexual or relationship violence and consults with students developing programs and projects related to sexual assault awareness, prevention, or survivor support. The CST office is staffed by two licensed psychologists and two licensed social workers. CST does not share information with the Title IX Office and can be considered a “first stop” for students seeking support for concerns related to sexual assault or relationship violence.

Stanford’s Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Education & Response (SARA) can provide information about available resources and support services, context about what your options are, and general support regarding sexual violence.

For emotional support from Stanford, you can also contact the Stanford Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Office. Students can utilize CAPS free of charge as long as you have paid the Campus Health Services Fee.

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Support in the Area

You can contact the YWCA Silicon Valley for 24/7 off-campus support at (800) 572-2782. YWCA services are free for all people impacted by sexual assault, domestic violence, or human trafficking.

You can also utilize Rape Trauma Services of San Mateo County for 24/7 off-campus support at (650) 692-7273. RTS provides counseling and advocacy in English or Spanish.

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Emotions & Self-Care

Seeking Support:

  • Counselor / Therapist / Psychologist: It's okay to seek outside support, and you can talk to a professional therapist, counselor, or psychologist through Stanford or the local community. Students can use CAPS free of charge. Learn more about Support from Stanford.
  • Crisis Centers: Crisis centers are places dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault or abuse and often provide counseling, support programs, legal referrals, and access to advocates (also called Rape Crisis Centers). Find a center near you: Support In the Area.
  • Advocates: Sometimes called survivor advocates or victim advocates, these are compassionate allies who can support you by accompanying you to a medical or forensic exam, explaining your reporting options, helping you find support services, and referring you to legal resources. Connect with the local crisis center in your area to talk to an advocate.

Common Emotional Responses:

There is no right or wrong emotional response to an experience of unwanted sexual contact; each person will have their own reaction. It’s common to experience a mix of emotions and feelings, like sadness, anger, confusion, shame, or uncertainty of what to do next. It can be useful to seek support and practice active self-care to aid the healing process.  Below are some tips and reminders for taking care of yourself throughout your process.


Self-care is an important part of healing. While you may feel pressure from others to respond in a certain way, your only obligation is to your own healing. You are in the best position to know what you need.

  • Check in with yourself about your sleeping, eating, exercise, and substance use patterns. Your physical health is directly connected to your emotional well-being. If you feel tired or emotionally drained, consider incorporating meditation or other relaxation practices into your daily routine.
  • Processing what happened in a safe environment is important; if you do not feel safe in your school environment due to ongoing contact with the perpetrator, you have the right to change your housing accommodations or class schedule. Read more about College Policies and Your Title IX Rights

Remember that you are not alone, and it's okay to seek out support, whether through friends, an advocate, online communities, a crisis center, or a counselor or therapist.

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Nationally & Globally

Nonconsensual or unwanted sexual contact is never okay, regardless of the state or country in which it occurs. Below are resources to find information and support nationally and internationally.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
RAINN is the largest US network supporting survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and offers a free, completely anonymous and confidential 24/7 online chat service that you can access from anywhere around the globe. Chat with a trained RAINN support specialist anytime at online.rainn.org. Learn more at the RAINN resources website.   

U.S. Department of State -  Office of Overseas Citizens Services
The State Department can help you contact family or friends, obtain medical care, address emergency needs, understand the local criminal justice process and connect with local and/or US-based resources for victims of crime, including local legal representation. The first step is often connecting with the local US consulate or embassy.

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