top of page




Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. It can include a wide range of behaviors, from unwanted touching or kissing to rape or other forms of sexual violence. Sexual assault can be physical, verbal, or visual, and it can occur between strangers, acquaintances, or intimate partners.

Sexual assault can have serious physical and emotional consequences for victims, including physical injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a traumatic and violating experience that can have long-lasting effects on a person's well-being.

Preventing sexual assault involves addressing the root causes and promoting healthy, respectful relationships. This can be achieved through education, advocacy, and supporting victims and survivors. It is also important for individuals to understand and respect the importance of consent in all types of sexual activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. This includes rape, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and other forms of sexual violence.

It is important to note that these statistics likely underrepresent the true scale of the problem, as sexual assault is often underreported. Victims may be afraid to come forward or may not know how to get help.

If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to remember that it is not your fault and that you are not alone. There are resources available to help you, including hotlines, shelters, and support groups. It is also important to seek medical attention as soon as possible and to consider reporting the assault to the authorities. If you are in immediate danger, call 911 for help.

The San Joaquin County Family Justice Center, is a resource for victims of Sexual Assault, regardless of if you have made a crime report. The FJC provides a safe and welcoming space where victims can access a range of services which may include counseling, and support services. If you or someone you know is a victim of Sexual Assault, please reach out to the FJC for help.


National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673

Chest of Hope (phone and text): 209-259-5552

PREVAIL: 209-465-4997

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 66746


SJC Family Justice Center: 209-468-2600

Community Medical Centers: 209-636-5400

El Concilio: 209-644-2600

SJC Victim Witness: 209-468-2500


Sexual assault is a deeply traumatic experience that can have long-lasting effects on survivors. It is essential to understand what constitutes sexual assault, how to support survivors, and how to prevent these incidents from occurring.

Defining Sexual Assault

Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim. This can include rape, attempted rape, unwanted touching, and other forms of sexual violence. It is important to note that consent must be given freely, without coercion, and can be revoked at any time.

Supporting Survivors

Supporting survivors of sexual assault requires empathy, understanding, and respect for their autonomy. It is crucial to believe survivors when they come forward and to offer them emotional support and access to resources such as counseling and medical care. It is also essential to respect their decisions regarding reporting the assault to the authorities.

Prevention and Education

Preventing sexual assault requires a multifaceted approach that includes education, awareness, and changes in societal attitudes. Teaching consent from a young age, promoting healthy relationships, and challenging harmful stereotypes and beliefs are crucial steps in preventing sexual violence. Additionally, bystander intervention programs can empower individuals to intervene and prevent potentially harmful situations.

Understanding sexual assault is the first step towards preventing it and supporting survivors. By educating ourselves and others, challenging harmful attitudes, and supporting survivors, we can create a safer and more respectful society for all.


Alcohol and date rape drugs are often associated with cases of sexual assault, contributing to the vulnerability of individuals and increasing the likelihood of such incidents. Understanding the dynamics of how these substances are used in sexual assaults is crucial for prevention and raising awareness.

Alcohol and Sexual Assault

Alcohol is a common factor in many sexual assault cases. It can impair judgment, reduce inhibitions, and lead to a loss of control, making individuals more susceptible to coercion and manipulation. In some cases, perpetrators may deliberately target individuals who are intoxicated, taking advantage of their compromised state to commit sexual assault. It is important to recognize that being intoxicated does not diminish the seriousness of sexual assault or absolve the perpetrator of responsibility.

Date Rape Drugs

Date rape drugs, such as Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine, are substances that can be used to incapacitate individuals and facilitate sexual assault. These drugs are often odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making them difficult to detect when added to drinks. Perpetrators may use these drugs to render their victims unconscious or unable to resist, making it easier to commit sexual assault. It is important to be aware of the signs of intoxication or drugging and to take precautions to protect oneself from being drugged, such as watching your drink and not accepting drinks from strangers.

Understanding sexual assault is the first step towards preventing it and supporting survivors. By educating ourselves and others, challenging harmful attitudes, and supporting survivors, we can create a safer and more respectful society for all.


In a world where personal safety is of paramount importance, it is crucial to equip individuals with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves, particularly in social settings such as bars where vulnerabilities may be heightened. Sexual assault remains an unfortunate reality, and while we strive for a society free of such atrocities, proactive safety planning is an essential step towards minimizing risks and empowering potential victims.


Safety planning encompasses a range of strategies tailored to various environments, and bars present a unique set of challenges. Here are some specific tips for enhancing safety while at a bar:

Buddy System

Always attend social events with a trusted friend. Having a buddy provides mutual support, increases awareness, and acts as a deterrent to potential predators. Keep an eye out for each other and establish a plan for leaving together if one of you feels uncomfortable.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Maintain situational awareness by observing the people and activities around you. Be mindful of your drink, never leave it unattended and consider using a lid or cover to prevent someone from tampering with it. If someone makes you uncomfortable, trust your instincts and consider changing your location or seeking assistance from bar staff.

Establish Boundaries

Clearly communicate your boundaries with others, and do not be afraid to assert yourself. If someone persists despite your objections, seek help from bar staff or security. It's important to prioritize your own well-being over social expectations.

Plan Your Transportation

Pre-plan how you will get home before arriving at the bar. Arrange for a designated driver, use rideshare services, or have the contact information for a reliable taxi service. Avoid accepting rides from strangers.

Now, let's broaden the scope to general safety tips applicable to various settings:

Trust Your Instincts

Intuition is a powerful tool. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your instincts and take action. It's better to err on the side of caution than to ignore red flags.

Self-Defense Training

Consider taking self-defense classes to build confidence and learn practical techniques to protect yourself. These skills can be empowering and may prove invaluable in a crisis.

Communication is Key

Keep friends or family informed of your whereabouts and plans, especially when attending social events. Utilize apps that allow real-time location sharing so that loved ones can track your movements and respond quickly in case of an emergency.

Report Suspicious Activity

If you witness any suspicious behavior, don't hesitate to report it to venue staff, security, or law enforcement. A community that looks out for one another contributes to a safer environment for everyone. Learn more about the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office SAFE Bar Program here.

Ultimately, safety planning is a multifaceted approach that combines awareness, empowerment, and community support. By actively implementing these tips, we can work towards creating an environment where individuals are better equipped to navigate social spaces with confidence and security. Together, we can foster a culture that prioritizes the well-being of every member and takes a collective stand against sexual assault.

Multi Colored Lipstick

Sexual assault is a devastating crime that leaves survivors grappling with profound physical, emotional, and psychological repercussions. In the quest for justice and healing, the role of victim services cannot be overstated. While the fight against sexual assault continues, it is imperative that we fortify the support systems available to survivors in San Joaquin County and beyond.


Victim services play a crucial role in the aftermath of sexual assault, offering survivors the empathy, resources, and guidance needed to navigate the complex journey towards recovery. In San Joaquin County, it is time to evaluate and enhance our existing victim services to ensure a comprehensive and compassionate response to survivors' needs.


In San Joaquin County we have multiple resources available for victims of Sexual Assault, regardless of if a crime report has been made. Please contact the San Joaquin County Family Justice Center at 209.468.2600. For 24-hour support, please call PREVAIL at 209.465.4997.

Accessible Counseling Services:

It is essential to expand access to trauma-informed counseling services, offering survivors a safe space to express their emotions and work through the aftermath of the assault. Collaborations with mental health professionals and organizations can help bridge gaps in service availability.

Community Education and Outreach:

Prevention is paramount, and robust victim services should include community education initiatives. By raising awareness about consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention, we can work towards creating a safer environment and reducing the incidence of sexual assault.

Crisis Intervention and Helplines:

Establishing or bolstering 24/7 crisis intervention helplines ensures that survivors have immediate access to support when they need it most. Trained professionals can provide information, referrals, and a compassionate ear to those grappling with the aftermath of sexual violence.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement:

Strengthening collaboration between victim services and law enforcement agencies is crucial for a coordinated response. Training for officers on trauma-informed approaches and victim sensitivity can contribute to a more supportive and empathetic experience for survivors seeking justice.

Specialized Support for Vulnerable Populations:

Recognizing the diverse needs of survivors, victim services in San Joaquin County should include specialized support for vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, and those with disabilities. Tailored services ensure that no survivor is left without the specific assistance they require.

Long-Term Support and Advocacy:

The aftermath of sexual assault is an ongoing journey, and survivor support should extend beyond immediate crisis intervention. Long-term advocacy and support services help survivors rebuild their lives, fostering resilience and empowerment.

Investing in comprehensive victim services for sexual assault survivors in San Joaquin County is an investment in the well-being and strength of our community. By fortifying these services, we affirm our commitment to creating a supportive environment that empowers survivors, facilitates healing, and contributes to a future free from the scourge of sexual violence. Together, we can build a community that stands united against sexual assault and supports those on the path to recovery.

bottom of page