Frequently Asked Questions

Who do you serve?

The Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico (RCCCNM) changed its name from the Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center in order to better reflect our scope of services. We serve Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia counties. Please contact us for more information, even if you're not in our area! Anyone can call our 24-hour hotline, regardless of geographical location.

How many people do you serve?

Every year, on average, our 24-hour hotline receives approximately 2,000 calls and we see close to 600 people at the SANE unit.

The Counseling department sees, on average, 275 new clients per year, as well as ongoing clients and group therapy participants.

The Community Education and Outreach department contacts, on average 13,000 community members per year.

I was sexually assaulted. What can I do?

What happened to you was not your fault. Whatever you did to survive the attack was the right thing to do. Please remember that you have options and support. You can call our 24-hour hotline to speak with a trained Advocate about how you are feeling and what your options are.

I am interested in seeing a Counselor. How can I learn more?

You can read more information about our Counseling department. Or, you can contact our offices during business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm) and ask about coming in for Counseling.

I felt violated, but I don't know if what happened was a sexual violation. Can I get counseling?

Absolutely! It is very common for survivors to not fully be able to understand what happened to them or how they feel about it, especially if it doesn't match up with the concept they had in their head about what would or would not be a violation.

Often it is hard for people to understand that physical violence is not always used in sexual assaults. The assault itself is still considered an act of violence.

It is important to understand that any sort of unwanted sexual encounters or unwanted sexualized actions taken towards you are sexual violations.

  • Fear and overwhelming emotions occur as a result of having someone control your body.
  • The offender may actually act affectionately once the victim is sufficiently under their control and may force the victim to speak and act affectionately towards them.
  • During incidents of sexual violation, victims may feel that their body has betrayed them -- their reactions to the abuse seem to contradict what they actually want. These events may make the survivor question whether an assault really happened.

Sexual assaults and violations, whether you experienced them as a child or as an adult, are often life-threatening experiences. No matter how you reacted to the violation, it was the right thing to do. No matter how you survived, it was the right thing to do. Sometimes this is hard for survivors to believe and it will be an important issue to address in counseling.

Counseling is a safe and helpful way to explore your feelings and reactions about the particular sexual violations you have experienced.

What does the Community Education & Outreach department do?

We believe that prevention of sexual assault is possible through educational programs and outreach efforts. To that end, Community Education and Outreach provides education and training on sexual assault and other issues that affect violence in our communities. Presentations and trainings are available for youth, professional staff, community groups and others who are interested. All presentations can be modified to individual needs, so don't be afraid to ask!

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is any kind of unwanted sexual behavior. This can include verbal harassment, rape, sexual abuse, incest, and sexual assault. Sexual violence is something that affects many people.

Who is a survivor?

In this world, most of us are survivors of something. At RCCCNM, we use the word "survivor", rather than "victim", to describe someone who has survived sexual violence. However, we support the right of all people to choose how they identify. Some people choose to identify as a victim or a different term, and that's OK. We believe people when they self-identify as a survivor, victim, or any other word without questioning or doubting the experiences behind that choice.

What is the difference between rape and sexual assault?

Rape is defined as unwanted penetration, whether that is oral, anal, or vaginal. Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact, including fondling and molestation.

How common is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is persistent social problem. In the United States in 2014, there were 284,350 survivors of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. A sexual assault takes place about every 30 seconds.


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