WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
The term “sexual assault” means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, Tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.
What to do if you are sexually assaulted
Do not clean up! Its important to preserve the evidence of the attack. Do not shower, bathe, brush your teeth or comb your hair, put on make-up, eat, drink, or change your clothes until advised to do so. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault. As soon as you can, write down, tape or record by any means all details you can recall about the assault and your assailant.
Seek medical attention! Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) or pregnancy. The doctor will collect evidence using a rape kit for fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind. If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected or a blood test administered.
Get emotional support! Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. Call a friend or family member you trust to be with you. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional as well. Ask the hospital staff to connect you with the local rape crisis center that can help you make choices about reporting the attack and provide help through counseling and support groups.
Address the long-term effects! The impact of sexual assault doesn’t end with the attack. Talk with a counselor who is trained to assist you with the emotional and physical effects that may continue to affect your life and even the lives of your friends and family.
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network(link is external)
Advocates are also available to chat (link is external)24/7.(link is external)
National Center for Victims of Crime (link is external)