RCASA’s Wednesday Outreach: What should I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?

In Advocacy, Outreach, Sexual Assault Awareness on March 17, 2010 at 9:16 am
  • Find a safe environment — anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support.
  • Know that what happened was not your fault and that now you should do what is best for you.
  • Report the attack to police by calling 911. A counselor on the Rappahanock Council on Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.540.371.1666 can help you understand the process.
    • Preserve evidence of the attack – don’t bathe or brush your teeth, put all your clothes in a paper bag.
    • Write down all the details you can recall about the attack & the attacker.
    • Ask the hospital to conduct a forensic exam (PERK) to preserve  evidence. A trained Crisis Responder from RCASA will meet you at the hospital to help you through the process.
    • If you suspect you were drugged, ask that a urine sample be collected. The sample will need to be analyzed later on by a forensic lab.
  • If you know that you will never report, still consider:
    • Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy.
    • Call the RCASA Hotline for free, confidential counseling, 24 hours a day: 1.540.371.1666.
  • Recognize that healing from rape takes time. Give yourself the time you need.
  • Know that it’s never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, the RCASA Hotline can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.

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