Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will. Sexual violence in all forms is motivated by power and control. Sexual violence encompasses a range of offenses, including: completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape); attempted nonconsensual sex act; abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching); and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment).

The law in New Jersey, which is gender neutral, does not specify male or female, but uses the words "actor" and "victim" to describe the persons involved.

For the full definition of sexual assault please refer to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1.

If you have been Sexually Victimized

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Don’t bathe, shower, douche, change your clothes, eat, drink, smoke, urinate, brush your teeth, gargle or anything else that might destroy or wash away evidence, including evidence of a drug facilitated assault.
  • Contact your county Sexual Violence Agency for emotional support, information and to learn about your options.
  • Seek medical attention for injuries, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and possible pregnancy. Hospitals and satellite emergency departments are required to provide care and information to sexual assault victims about emergency contraception and to provide the contraceptives upon request.
  • Have your Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) activated if you wish to have forensic evidence collected by calling your local police department or dialing 911.

What is a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)?

The Sexual Assault Response Team consists of a forensic nurse examiner, a confidential sexual violence advocate (CSVA) and a law enforcement officer. The SART uses a team concept in providing the compassionate and all-inclusive medical care, emotional and informative support, along with the gathering of crucial evidence of the sexual assault incident. For the most part and significantly, the SART will help to support victims in order to formulate knowledgeable resolutions concerning their care and healing. It is the victim’s choice whether or not to activate SART.

The SART can be activated 24 hours a day and 7 days a week providing:

  • The victim is 13 years of age or older.
  • The assault occurred within the last 5 days.
  • The victim chooses to utilize SART services.
  • Even if the victim reports the assault after five days, the victim shall be given the right to speak with a CSVA.
The victim has the right to have the CSVA sit in on the NJSP interview, but the CSVA cannot coach the victim in any way.

Options available to you if you become the victim of sexual violence:

  • A confidential sexual violence advocate from the county Sexual Violence Agency is available to victims, 13 years of age and older, 24 hours-a-day to accompany you through all medical, legal and court procedures. A confidential sexual violence advocate is someone who has received specialized training in the dynamics of sexual violence and is knowledgeable about assisting victims through the aftermath of a sexual assault. The confidential sexual violence advocate can provide emotional support and information to you and your significant others, as well as explain your options.
  • Individual and group counseling is available at each county Sexual Violence Agency.
  • All services and fees are confidential, and are available regardless of when the assault occurred or whether a victim reports the crime.
  • If the assault happened within the past five days and you are over the age of 13, the county Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) can be activated.
  • There is no time limit on reporting a sexual assault incident to law enforcement.

Sexual Violence Agency Contacts

The New Jersey State Police does not offer counseling services, however if you have or are experiencing sexual violence, please know there is help and that you are not alone. Many counties throughout New Jersey have a sexual violence program providing a range of services to survivors of sexual violence by trained and compassionate advocates.

If you have experienced sexual violence and would like to speak with someone about it, you can call the 24-hour Statewide Hotline at 1-800-601-7200 or look below to contact your local sexual violence program.

Many services are free, confidential and provided regardless of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, ability level or immigration status.


The following are Sexual Violence Programs by County:

ATLANTIC COUNTY

AVANZAR Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 800-286-4184
Web: avanzarnow.org


BERGEN COUNTY

healingSPACE
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 201-487-2227
Web: ywcannj.org/healingspace/


BURLINGTON COUNTY

CONTACT of Burlington County
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 856-600-4800
Web: contactburclo.org


CAMDEN COUNTY

Services Empowering Rights of Victims (SERV), Center for Family Services
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 866-295-7378
Web: centerffs.org/


CAPE MAY COUNTY

C.A.R.A.
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 877-294-2272
Web: cara-cmc.org


CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Services Empowering Rights of Victims (SERV), Center for Family Services
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 800-225-0196
Web: centerffs.org


ESSEX COUNTY

SAVE of Essex County
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 877-733-2273
Web: familyserviceleague.org


GLOUCESTER COUNTY

Services Empowering Rights of Victims (SERV), Center for Family Services
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 866-295-7378
Web: centerffs.org


HUDSON COUNTY

Hudson SPEAKS
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 201-795-5757
Website currently unavailable


HUNTERDON COUNTY

Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DASACC)*
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 908-453-4181
Web: dasacc.org

*DASAAC is now providing Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services to both Warren and Hunterdon Counties.


MERCER COUNTY

Womanspace
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 609-394-9000
Web: womanspace.org


MIDDLESEX COUNTY

Middlesex County Center for Empowerment
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 877-665-7273
Web: co.middlesex.nj.us


MONMOUTH COUNTY

180 Turning Lives Around
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 888-264-7273
Web: 180nj.org


MORRIS COUNTY

Morris CARES
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 973-829-0587
Web: atlantichealth.org


OCEAN COUNTY

St. Francis Counseling Service
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 609-494-1090
Web: stfranciscenterlbi.org


PASSAIC COUNTY

Passaic County Women's Center
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 973-881-1450
Web: passaiccountywomenscenter.org


RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Office for Violence Prevention & Victim Assistance (VPVA)
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 732-932-1181
Web: vpva.rutgers.edu


SALEM COUNTY

Salem County Women's Services
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 856-935-6655
Web: salemcountywomensservices.org


SOMERSET COUNTY

Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), Zufall Health Center
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 908-526-7444
Web: zufallhealth.org


SUSSEX COUNTY

Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services (DASI)
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 973-875-1211
Web: dasi.org


UNION COUNTY

Union County Rape Crisis Center
Sexual Violence Services
Phone: 908-233-7273
Web: ucnj.org/departments/human-services/rape-crisis-center


WARREN COUNTY

Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DASACC)
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services
Phone: 908-453-4181
Web: dasacc.org


A compiled list of New Jersey Sexual Violence Service Agencies is available here.


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