Every 60 seconds a woman is sexually assaulted in the United States. Sexual assault is considered one of the worst crimes on humanity – ever!
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by the time of age 18. More than 78% of sexual assaults are committed by someone close to the victim like a partner, family member, friend or acquaintance.
A sexual assault victim may experience a myriad of emotions including shock, disbelief, denial, fear, embarrassment, shame, guilt, depression, powerlessness, anxiety and anger. Additionally a sexual assault victim may have been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and pregnancy. It is important to receive medical care and support immediately after an assault has occurred to ensure that medical issues are addressed, evidence is collected and to aid in the healing process. Pretending the sexual assault didn’t happen, will not make it go away.
What to do after a rape or assault:
- Get to a safe place
- Call 911 or the Community Help Line (1-800-736-1060) for support and information
- Remember, it is not your fault, regardless of your actions; it is not your fault. The rapist, even if you know them, committed the crime
- Don’t shower, bathe, douche, use the toilet, wash your hands, brush your teeth, eat, drink, change clothes or straighten up the area
- Report the rape to the police as soon as possible. If you are an adult, this decision is yours. Remember that reporting attacks is an important part of ending violence against women. However, you should feel okay and comfortable with whatever decision you make
- Get medical attention at an emergency room in a medical center
Cooperate with medical personnel and police. They are trying to help you. You have a right to a rape crisis advocate from Tahoe SAFE Alliance to be with you
- Call a friend or Tahoe SAFE Alliance so that someone can be with you
- The police or hospital should call Tahoe SAFE Alliance for you. We will send someone to be with you for support and information at the hospital and police station
- Later — get continued help and support
It’s normal to feel confusion, anger, guilt and other strong emotions after a rape. For help in dealing with these feelings, you can contact Tahoe SAFE Alliance or a counselor
How can you help?
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and Tahoe SAFE Alliance plans to raise a community of awareness in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.