What is sexual violence?

Sexual contact committed by force or without a person’s consent caused solely by a perpetrator’s decision to commit the offense. It can include being touched, forced to touch someone else, or to watch them touch themselves. It is a crime that can affect the whole family, including the victim’s spouse, partner, parents, and other close relatives or friends.

Who commits sexual violence?

Both strangers and people known and trusted by the victim can commit this type of abuse. Over 80% of sexual violence is committed by acquaintances, a current or former spouse, co-parent, dating partner, parent, sibling, or present or former household member, and the majority is planned. It is not about uncontrollable sexual urges or the desire for sexual gratification. It is a method of expressing anger and aggression motivated by the perpetrator’s need to overpower, control, degrade, and humiliate another.

Who experiences sexual violence?

Victims can be of any gender, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.

If you are in immediate danger, contact 911.

What drugs are used to commit Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA)?

Alcohol is the #1 drug used to commit DFSA. Other drugs including Rohypnol and GHB, are colorless, odorless, and tasteless pills or liquids that can be discreetly dropped in drinks at parties, clubs, and social events that leave the person who ingests them weakened, helpless, and potentially unconscious. After the drug takes effect, the victim may be so incapacitated that they cannot escape, call for help, or resist sexual assault or rape. The drugs often cause amnesia, leaving the victim unable to recall what happened or who was involved. The use of DFSA substances in the commission of the sexual assault is a first-degree crime which constitutes Aggravated Sexual Assault. The use of these substances can lead to death.

For more information or to schedule a presentation on drug-facilitated sexual assault, please reach out to Sue Levine, Victim Support Program Coordinator at susanl@180nj.org or 732-264-4360, Ext. 4271.

For Sexual Violence Protective Orders Click Here to Learn More

What should I do if I experience sexual violence?

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Find a safe place and consider notifying the police.
  • To preserve evidence, do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, smoke, urinate, or change your clothing, if possible. If you must change, place each piece of clothing in a separate bag. If you think you may have been drugged, try to collect a urine sample.
  • Call our 24-hour Confidential Hotline for support, information, accompaniment through medical and police proceedings, and counseling services. A Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate* can accompany you for support during the forensic exam at the five area hospitals, formal police statement at all police departments in Monmouth County, and at the time of Grand Jury, if needed.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for possible injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy.
*The highly-trained Advocates at 180 are also members of the Monmouth County Sexual Assault Response Team. This coordinated multi-disciplinary response ensures timely, appropriate, and compassionate care for victims and quality evidence control, which may increase the potential for successful prosecution if desired. The team includes:
  • Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE): The FNE provides medical care and collects forensic evidence that may be used in the prosecution of the crime.  Treatment for sexually transmitted infections and early unwanted pregnancy may be obtained through the hospital Emergency Department. There is no fee for this service.
  • Law Enforcement: A police officer to obtain information regarding the assault and initiate the investigation. A forensic exam and medical treatment can also be obtained without the involvement of law enforcement.

What are the common reactions to sexual violence?

Everyone copes with trauma and crisis differently. In the aftermath of sexual violence, any reaction should be accepted as normal. Survivors may experience a variety of trauma symptoms at any point, including:
  • Physical: Soreness, pain, changes in eating and sleeping, and general fatigue.
  • Emotional: Shock, disbelief, fear, shame, self-blame, guilt, isolation, grief, depression, anger, and embarrassment. Emotional scars may take longer to heal than physical injuries.
  • Cognitive Symptoms: Difficulty concentrating and intrusive thoughts and/or images of the assault.

What should I do if sexual violence happens to someone I know?

  • Call our 24/7 confidential hotline for immediate counseling, support, and information at 1 (888) 264-7273. The experience Hotline staff can also provide referrals to additional resources and counseling programs.
  • Allow the survivor the opportunity to make their own decisions. Victims may experience feelings of vulnerability and loss of control over their body and very existence. Offering them information and options may help.
  • Assure the survivor that you believe them. Remind them that the assault was not their fault and avoid showing strong emotion of any kind. Do not blame, suggest blame, judge, or criticize.
  • Be supportive. Recognize that the course of action the survivor used to get through the ordeal was effective.
  • Allow the survivor space and time to talk or not to talk. Survivors commonly choose to protect those close to them by not sharing details.

How can 180 help?

Our caring staff provides survivors of sexual violence and their families with immediate and long-term support in obtaining free & confidential services, making decisions, and processing their traumatic experiences.
24/7 Free & Confidential Hotline
Provides immediate counseling, support, and information at 1 (888) 264-7273. The experience Hotline staff can also provide referrals to additional resources and counseling programs.
Sexual Violence Response Teams
Trained Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates are on-call to assist survivors of sexual violence and their significant others at hospitals and police departments and provide support during all phases of the criminal justice system process.
Sexual Violence Counseling
Expert sexual trauma and recovery counselors provide support and education for survivors and/or thier significant others. Individual short-term counseling provides a safe space for survivors to begin talking about and working through the trauma, while support groups reduce their experience of isolation and provide survivors the opportunity to realize they are not alone.

Monmouth County’s Strangulation/Smothering Evaluation Team (SSET)

Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic and sexual violence: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. Survivors may also suffer life-threatening medical emergencies hours, days, or weeks later.If someone has been choked or strangled, call the police or go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room for assistance.

The Monmouth County SSET includes Forensic Nurses, Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Response Advocates, and specially trained Law Enforcement Officers and offers 24/7 assistance to victims, including information, safety planning, and medical evaluations, as needed.

For more information, call (732) 264-4111. For Information on Sexual Violence Protective Orders, Click Here

Our free & confidential Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 (888) 264-7273.

Our sexual violence hotline is the 24 hour supportive connection for individuals in crisis. Providing immediate counseling, and critical information for callers, the hotline is also a referral agent to additional resources and counseling programs.

Our toll-free Sexual Assault Hotline: (888) 264-7273  is available 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week and is completely confidential.

woman assisting on hotline

Additional resources for survivors of sexual violence:


The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) mission is to promote compassionate and just treatment of victims and loved ones, foster collaborative relationships between community systems, and affect attitudinal and behavioral changes in society as they work toward the elimination of sexual violence.
Hotline: 1-800-601-7200
NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault
2333 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd., Suite B
Trenton, New Jersey 08619
Tel: 609-631-4450
Fax: 609-631-4453
Website: www.njcasa.org


The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also educates the public about sexual assault: and leads national efforts to improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE .
Website: www.rainn.org

Information for Survivors

180 Turning Lives Domestic Violence
180 Turning Lives Sexual Violence
180 Turning Lives Around Client Resources