WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Any contact or act that is not wanted is considered sexual abuse. This can include touching, kissing, oral sex, anal sex, vaginal, or any type of sexual act that is not consensual.
WHO CAN BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED?
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone at any moment.
I KNOW THE PERSON WHO ASSAULTED ME, I AGREED TO GO TO A PRIVATE PLACE WITH HIM (HER). DOES THAT STILL COUNT AS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
A majority of people who have been sexually assaulted know the abuser. It could be a friend, family member, classmate, spouse, or someone whom you just met. Sexual assault committed by a person you know, in a place you granted access to, is just as serious as a sexual assault committed by a stranger.
I DON’T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN WHAT I’M FEELING, IS THIS NORMAL?
Everyone’s reaction is different. Your feelings and reactions can change from day to day, minute to minute. Your emotions, body, and spirit can be greatly affected by sexual assault. Changes in feelings and behavior are normal. It might take some time to feel better, that is why it is so important to seek help.
IF SEXUAL ASSAULT JUST HAPPENED TO ME, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- Look for a safe place to go. It could be at a friends house, your church, the sexual assault crisis center, or any safe place.
- Find someone you trust to talk to.
- Consider visiting a doctor or an emergency room to receive medical care in case you have any injuries. Plus, they’ll help you collect evidence, prevent sexually transmitted diseases, or unwanted pregnancies resulting from abuse.
- If you want to talk to the police, call 911. It is very important that you don’t shower, wash your clothes, brush your teeth, eat, drink, smoke, brush your hair or go to the bathroom if possible until after your nurse has seen you to collect evidence.
- If you want someone to come to the hospital with you and to talk to the police with you, you can call our Helpline for Spanish speakers at (888) 969-1825 so that one of our Community Advocates can help you with the process.
- You have the right to ask questions and receive answers regarding what you’re going through.
- You also have the right to say “NO” to whatever you don’t want done to you. And remember, you have the right to receive help regardless of age, gender, race, sexual preference, disability, or immigration status.