WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Sexual Violence is any behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent. When individuals think of sexual violence our first thought is often of rape, but sexual violence consists of many more behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. A few examples of sexual violence includes verbal violence, cat calling on the street, sending or receiving unwanted explicit photos, believing that physical affection is “owed” after a date, or unwanted touching. Call Jessica Bellant, our Education and Prevention Director to request a presentation or professional training concerning sexual violence.
If you are sexually assaulted:
- Get to a place where you will be safe from further attack. For your own protection, call 911 immediately, especially if the assailant is still nearby. The police will help you whether or not you choose to prosecute the assailant.
- Call a friend or family member for support.
- Get medical attention immediately. The primary purpose of a medical examination following a rape is to check for physical injury, the presence of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy as a result of the rape. The secondary purpose of a medical examination is to aid in the police investigation and legal proceedings.
- Don’t shower, bathe or douche. Showering, bathing or douching might be the first thing you want to do. However, you will literally wash away valuable evidence. Wait until a doctor has examined you.
- Save your clothing. It is all right to change clothes, but save what you were wearing. Your clothing could be used as evidence for prosecution. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag for the police.
- Report the incident to the police. It is up to you, but reporting a rape isn’t the same thing as prosecuting a rape. Prosecution can be determined later.
- The Bridge 24-Hour Hotline is 713-473-2801. Advocates are available to accompany you to the hospital 24 hours a day.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime
- Every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in our country
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18
- 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experience sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime