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RCASA Volunteer Corner

In Advocacy, Education, Medical Accompaniment, Sexual Assault Awareness, Volunteer on August 14, 2011 at 7:40 am

What do I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?

These are important steps to take right away after an assault:

  • Remember that sexual assault is not your fault.  No one deserves to be raped or assaulted.
  • Get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can. Then call 911 or the police.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust. You also can call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor.  RCASA’s hotline number is 540.371.1666
  • If the assault took place in the last 48 hours do not wash, clean, wipe, brush or comb any part of your body.  Although this may be your first reaction, resist doing it so that the maximum amount of evidence may be collected.
  • Do not change clothes if possible, so the hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.  If for some reason you have already taken the clothing you were wearing off, put it inside a brown paper bag (NOT plastic).   RCASA will be able to bring you fresh, new clothes to wear home from the hospital

The hospital:

  • Remember that sexual assault is not your fault.  No one deserves to be raped or assaulted.
  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible.  **Note- if you go to our local hospital, Mary Washington Hospital, all you have to do is go to the check-in desk in the emergency room and tell them you have been sexually assaulted.  You will not have to wait in the waiting room with everyone else; you will be escorted to a private space.
  • Seek medical care at a hospital emergency room as soon as possible.  You will be examined to determine if you have been injured.  Additionally you will be tested for possible sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.  You can request to have a PERK – physical evidence recovery kit – within 72 hours of the assault.  The hospital will notify the police if you choose.  You can choose not to talk with law enforcement.
  • RCASA is available to help you as a companion at the hospital, or for crisis intervention and support while dealing with the aftermath of the sexual assault.
  • Seek professional counseling.  RCASA offers a full range of counseling services.
  • If you decide you want to file a police report, you or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room.
  • Remember that sexual assault is not your fault.  No one deserves to be raped or assaulted.
  • A national hotline number is also available: National Sexual Assault Hotline  at 800-656-HOPE (4673).   Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.

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