What services do you provide for adults?
- 24-hour crisis and information hotline
- Crisis counseling
- Medical advocacy
- Legal advocacy
- Counseling referrals for survivors
- Other referrals as needed
- Support for secondary survivors
What is this service?
- 24-hour crisis and information hotline - 1.877.363.1912
- Crisis counseling - A crisis is unique to each person and can include anything from assistance following an assault to working through emotions that may have come up due to a trigger(s), reminding the survivor of the events of her/his attack. This can be done in person or over the phone.
- Medical advocacy - This includes emotional support to survivors during evidence collection exams, which occur within 72 hours of the assault, and/or during follow-up medical appointments. Medical advocacy is an option for survivors regardless of if they choose to report to law enforcement or not.
- Legal advocacy - This includes emotional support throughout prosecution of the offender and may also include attending and supporting survivors through court hearings and working with the Victim's Assistance Program through the District Attorney’s Office.
- Counseling referrals for survivors - We refer to several agencies in our community that are trained and knowledgeable in working with survivors of sexual assault and abuse. The Cottage can offer assistance with payment of counseling if client does not have the means to pay or does not have insurance. Many agencies have a sliding scale for fees and we are happy to give that information to survivors if they are not interested in receiving services through The Cottage.
- Other referrals as needed - This can include assistance on a case by case basis with locating resources for food, clothing, housing, etc. We understand that an assault or past abuse ripples throughout all aspects of our lives and we are here to help.
- Support for secondary survivors - The Cottage recognizes that sexual violence many, not just the primary survivor. For this reason we offer our support and services as well as helpful information to friends, family members and partners (secondary survivors) of the primary survivor. Supporting those who care for the survivor in turn supports the survivor.
Who is eligible for this service?
Any individual whose life has been affected by sexual violence, past or present.
Is it free?
Is it confidential?
How do I enroll in this service?
For all services, make contact either by calling the hotline at any time if in crisis, or by calling the office line and speaking to Devon Sanger, Adult Advocate, during business hours.
Who do I contact for more information about this service?
You may call the hotline at any time, or call Devon Sanger, Adult Advocate at 706-546-1133 x25 during business hours, between 9am and 5pm.
I’m not sure if I was raped. Was this my fault?
If the sex was forced or coerced it was rape. If threats were made, it was rape. It does not matter if there were injuries or not. It does not matter if you didn’t fight back. It does not matter if you’ve had sex with the perpetrator before. It does not matter if you had been drinking alcohol or using substances. It does not matter if you had planned to have sex and then changed your mind. If sex was not consensual then it was rape.
What is Acquaintance Rape?
Acquaintance rape is when someone is forced into some sexual activity against their will by someone they know. The perpetrator could be a friend, date, neighbor, partner, spouse or someone you’ve just met. Survivors may feel ashamed and may blame themselves. They may feel that they were somehow responsible, or that they should have been able to prevent the rape or should have seen it coming. There may be an inability to sleep, trust issues, health concerns. This can be very isolating for the survivor. Many survivors may never tell anyone. All of these reactions are common given what the survivor has been through.
I was molested in my childhood. Do you have services for me?
Yes. Many adults who were sexually abused in their childhood and/or adolescence reach out for help in their adulthood. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may carry this secret, never telling anyone. Some may have told someone but were told they were lying or told not to speak of it to anyone. Many survivors block the memory of abuse. Others remember but don’t recognize the courage they showed as a child and the impact that the abuse still has on their lives. Our services are available to you.
I am an adult now but I often wonder if what happened to me as a child/teen was sexual abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse includes any sexual contact with a child, including touching or fondling, oral, anal or vaginal penetration, using a child for sexual films or prostitution, and/or exposing a child to adult sexual activity, such a photographs or videos.
What is “date rape” or drug and/or alcohol facilitated rape?
Drug and/or alcohol facilitated rape is when a victim is subjected to a sexual act due to the incapacitating effects of alcohol and/or drugs. The effects of these substances prevent the victim from being able to consent.
What if I think I was drugged?
Call local law enforcement immediately. These substances move through the body very quickly and a blood or urine sample should be taken as soon as possible. It is good to be truthful with law enfrocment about all drug and alcohol use during within the time period in question, even those ingested voluntarily, because this will play a part in lab procedures.
What is the most common “date rape drug”?
ALCOHOL. Why? Consuming alcohol, often in mass quantities is socially accepted. Unlike drugs, alcohol is a legal activity, if of age. And lastly, alcohol is usually voluntarily ingested. The perpetrator doesn’t have to do anything except be in the right place at the right time.
How can I protect myself?
Listen to your instincts and your gut feeling- they are usually right. Don’t trust people you’ve just met. Even if they seem “nice”, you don’t know them well enough. Look out for your friends and stay with people that you know when you go somewhere. Get your own drinks. Do not accept drinks from others. Be assertive and direct about what you do and do not want to do. Take note of red flags, for example if someone if very touchy feely. Do they stop when you tell them to? Do they invade your personal space, testing boundaries? Do they ask you about sex and talk about things of a sexual nature, continuing even when you don’t seem to respond? Do they seem eager to buy you drinks or use substances with you? Do they seem eager to give you a ride? These are just a few examples of ways to protect yourself. Keep in mind that perpetrators make the decision to rape and despite taking precautions rape can still happen. No matter what, it was not your fault.
Anything additional that someone would need to know about this service?
Our services are designed to support survivors in any way they need. We can help locate and explore options and will support the decisions that the survivors makes for themselves.
Do you have services for survivors in the LGBTQ community?
Yes, The Cottage is committed to serve every survivor of sexual voilence and understands the issues and barriers that are unique to the LGBTQ community.
Gay Men and Childhood Sexual Trauma: Integrating the Shattered Self, By James Cassese
Can't Touch My Soul: A Guide for Lesbian Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse, Donna Rafanello
I Never Called it Rape,
The Ms. Report on recognizing, fighting and surviving date and acquaintance rape
The Rape Recovery Handbook,
Step-by-step help for survivors of sexual assault
Recovering from Rape,
Linda E. Ledray
Practical advice on overcoming the trauma and coping with police, hospitals and the courts -- for the survivors of sexual assault and their families, lovers and friends
Voices of Courage, edited
by Michael Domitrz
Inspiration from survivors of sexual assault
The Courage to Heal,
Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
A guide for women survivors of child sexual abuse
Websites (sites will open in a new window)
Pandora's Aquarium, An online support
group, message board and chat room for survivors of sexual
For LGBTQ Survivors of rape/sexual abuse: resources, discussion forums
Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
Men Stopping Violence
Dedicated to addressing the needs of intersex and trans survivors
Bluegrass Rape Crisis
Education pertaining to LGBTQ survivors of sexual assualt
LGBTQ Survivor Online Support Groups
Georgia Victims’ Bill of Rights
Male Survivor, Overcoming Sexual Victimization
of Boys & Men
Center for Disease Control
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (V.I.N.E.) This service allows crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day.
For more information on Adult Services, contact Devon Sanger, Adult Services Program Coordinator.
Content author: Devon Sanger ()
Personal Safety is when you think and act in a way that will help to keep you safe. Your safety will often depend on how you think and behave in certain situations. The following are ways to stay safe:
- Create safety rules. Stay away from strangers, never walk alone, and always tell someone where you are.
- Develop trusting relationships with your parents, friends, etc.
- Use assertive communication, meaning, make sure that people you talk to know what you will and will not do.
- Have a positive self image and self esteem. You are a special person, you deserve respect.
- Improve your decision making skills. Think about how your decision may affect your life down the road or how it may affect other’s lives.
- Create a support network, a group of people your age and adults that you can trust and confide in.
Did you know?
- 33% of sexual assaults occur when the victim is between the ages of 12-17.
- Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim Incident, and Offender Characteristics. U.S. Department of Justice Statistics 2000.
- Females comprised 82% of all juvenile victims.
- Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim Incident, and Offender Characteristics. U.S. Department of Justice Statistics 2000.
- A survey of high school adolescents showed that 12% of girls and 5% of boys had experienced sexual abuse.
- The Commonwealth Fund. Improving the Health of Adolescents Girls: Policy Report of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on Women’s Health. New York, NY. 1999.
- 7 out of 10 rape or sexual assault victims knew their attacker.
- Rennison,Calli M. Criminal Victimization 1998: Changes 1997-1998 with Trends 1993-1998. Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice. 1999.
- 42% of girls younger than 15 years reported that their first intercourse was nonconsensual.
- Abma JC, Driscoll, A., Moore K. Young Women’s Degree of Control Over First Intercourse: An Exploratory Analysis. Family Planning Perspective. Vol. 30.1998.
- Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and /or sexually abused by a dating partner.
- Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anitia Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; and Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Abuse Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality, “journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, (No. 5, 2001)
What Teens Should Know About Healthy Dating Relationships
Dating can be a wonderful way to learn how to be part of a loving, healthy relationship. Dating can give you a chance to learn more about yourself and other people and can let you have positive new experiences.
But sometimes relationships can take an unhealthy turn. In unhealthy relationships, people can be hurt emotionally and even physically, especially if sex is involved. Make sure you know the myths and facts about relationships so that you can have a GREAT dating experience.
Qualities of a healthy relationship:
- There’s mutual respect for each other.
- Neither person dominates/controls the relationship.
- Accepting of strengths and weaknesses.
- You are able to agree to disagree
- You feel good about yourself while in the relationship.
- Stay true to yourself.
- Encouragement from each other
- You are accepting of who your partner is.
Qualities of an unhealthy relationship:
- Your partner must control every situation you’re in. For example, where you go, what you eat, who you see, ect.
- They want to be alone with you, isolating you from friends.
- They have a mean streak verbally or physically.
- They are irrationally jealous.
- They get angry if you do things for yourself.
- They demand your undivided attention.
- They are emotionally unstable.
- They use scare tactics and make you frightened of them.
- They beg for forgiveness after hurting you and promise never to do it again.
What Teens Should Know About Sexual Coercion
Sex is a big decision and it should always be YOUR decision. Someone may try to make you feel that you have to have sex, or that sex is the right choice, even when you have doubts. Sexual coercion is being persuaded to have sex when you really don’t want to.
- Do you feel pressure from your partner to have sex?
- Will you do anything to hold onto your partner, even have sex?
- Are there times when you don’t want to have sex, but feel like you can’t say know?
- Have you ever felt guilty or frightened after sex?
You may be experiencing sexual coercion if you answered yes to any of these questions. If you feel that your in an unhealthy relationship, talk to an adult you can trust. Get help right away if you are in an abusive relationship!
The Cottage Sexual Assault Hotline; 1-877-363-1912
National Assault Hotline (RAINN) 1-800-656-HOPE
Internet Safety Tips for Teens
- Never post any personal information, such as an address, cell phone number, or name of your school.
- Posting information about your friends can put them at risk. Protect your friends by not posting any names, ages, phone numbers, school names or locations. Refrain from making or posting plans and activities on your site.
- Never add people as friends to your site if you don’t know them in real life.
- Do not share your password with anyone other than your parent or guardian.
- Check the privacy settings of the social networking sites that you use. Set it so that people can only view your profile if you have approved them as a friend. Also set your privacy settings so that people can only be added as your friend if you approve it.
- Delete unwanted friends who continuously leave inappropriate comments.
- Do not respond to harassing or rude emails, comments or posts. Delete unwanted messages. Report unwanted, inappropriate comments to the networking site if they violate that site’s terms of service.
- Be careful when posting your photos. Make sure personal photos do not have revealing information, such as school names or location, license plate of your car, signs or name of a mall.
- Bear in mind that any information you give out through e-mails, instant messages, social networking sites and blogs could put you at risk of victimization. People looking to harm you could use the information you post to gain your trust. They can also deceive you by pretending they know you.
- NEVER meet in person with anyone you first meet online. Some people may not be who they say they are.
- Consider going through your profile, blog and removing any information that could put you at risk.
Resources for Information on Internet Safety
The Cottage is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance and Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia. The Cottage provides services to all victims of child abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse, witness to domestic violence and witness to a homicide All of the services provided by The Cottage are free of charge to the child victim and their non-offending caregivers. The Cottage also facilitates an array of trainings and presentations to help prevent child abuse and promote healing. Services provided by The Cottage include:
- Forensic Interview -- Forensic Interviews are only conducted at the request of Law Enforcement or The Department of Family and Children Services in the response to child abuse allegations. Forensic Interviews are only conducted by professionals trained to interview children regarding abusive situations.
- Forensic Evaluation -- Forensic Evaluations may only be requested by Law Enforcement after a Forensic Interview is completed resulting in strong suspicions of child abuse. Forensic Evaluations are completed by a trained master’s level professional and may include up to six sessions with the child and non-offending caregiver.
- Medical Accompaniment -- Sexual Assault Exams may be requested when a child discloses sexual abuse. The Sexual Assault Exams are conducted by trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. A member of The Cottage staff provides assistance and support to the child and non-offending caregiver during the exam.
- Advocacy -- Staff members of The Cottage provide crisis counseling during the intervention of child abuse which may include an investigation. Support and resources are provided to the child and non-offending caregiver to ensure all the child and family needs are met. Continued contact may be made to ensure stability and safety of the child. Staff members may also offer support and accompaniment to the child and non-offending caregivers throughout the judicial process.
- Referrals -- Referrals to community agencies to assist clients and their families with counseling, food, housing, and other needs.
- Counseling -- The Cottage provides counseling referrals to all victims of child abuse. The Cottage strives to provide therapeutic treatment free of charge to all child clients.
- Children’s Support Group -- The Cottage facilitates Hero’s, a group for victims of child abuse, for ages 5-10. Hero’s focuses on self esteem building and creating appropriate boundaries upon the intervention of the child’s abuse.
- Teen Support Group -- The Cottage’s teen group is established for female teens (ages 12-16) who are survivors of child sexual abuse. This group focuses on self-esteem building, healthy relationships, and the safety of the child.
- Non-Offending Caregiver (NOC) Support Group -- The NOC group is offered to all parents and caregivers of children and teens who have experienced sexual abuse. This group educates, supports, and empowers the NOC in order for them to have the skills and knowledge to help their children heal from their abusive experience.
Child abuse investigations are conducted by a team of professionals called a Multi-Disciplinary Team. The Multi-Disciplinary Team approach is to ensure every child in the service area is protected and all their needs are met.
Please contact Hannah Anderson, Child Services Program Manager or Lori Karr, Child Advocate if you or someone you know may be interested in any child services provided by The Cottage.
Content author: Hannah Anderson () or Lori Karr ()
- National Children’s Advocacy Center
- National Children’s Alliance
- Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia
- About Our Kids
Books for Parents and Caregivers
Helping Your Child Recover from Sexual Abuse, Caren Adams and Jennifer Fay
When Your Child Has been Molested: A parents' Guide to Healing and Recovery, Kathryn Brohl with Joyce Case Potter
Healing The Harm Done: A Parent's Guide to Helping Your Child Overcome the Effects of Sexual Abuse, Jennifer Y. Levy, Ph.D
Preparing Children for Court: A Practitioner's Guide, Lynn Copen
Healing Activities for Children in Grief, Gay McWhorter
Treating Trauma and Traumatic Greif in Children and Adolescents, Judith A Cohen, Anthony P. Mannarino, and Esther Deblinger
Walking the Tiger, Peter Levine
1,2,3 Magic: Effective Discipline For Children, Thomas Phelan
Books for Children
A Terrible Thing Happened, Holmes
Brave Bart, C. Sheppard
Finding Sunshine After the Storm, Sharon A. McGee and Curtis Holmes
I Like Me, Nancy Carlson
The Empty Pot, Demi
When I Feel Angry, Cornelia Maude Spelman
The Way I Feel, Janan Cain
Your Body Belongs To You, C. Spelman