What should you do if you've been assaulted?
DON'T BATHE OR DOUCHE
Bathing or douching might be the first thing you want to do, but you shouldn't regardless of your urge to do so. You might literally be washing away evidence.
SAVE YOUR CLOTHING
You can change your clothes, but save what you were wearing. If you decide to prosecute, your clothing could be used as evidence.
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY
You could be injured externally and/or internally. You could become pregnant or infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Beyond your physical health, a medical examination could provide important evidence if you decide to prosecute. Please get help!
DON'T DEAL WITH IT ALONE
There are resources available for you to use. One example is the Interior Center for Non-Violent Living Rape Crisis hotline 24-hour telephone number (452-4357). The Crisis Center provides trained counselors to help answer the medical, emotional, and legal, questions you have at any hour, in complete confidence.
REPORT TO THE POLICE
You have the decision whether to report a sexual assault or not, and whether to prosecute your attacker or not. Note that reporting an assault is not the same as prosecuting your attacker. At the very least, please report a sexual assault to the police. You can decide later on if you want to prosecute your attacker.
Common feelings experienced by rape survivors
- Loss of control
- Anxiety, shaking, nightmares
- Concern for the rapist
- Wondering--Why me?
It is perfectly normal to have these feelings. Just remember IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Only the person who committed the rape is to blame.