10 Points to Remember If You Are Raped or Sexually Assaulted
Ten points to remember if you are raped or sexually assaulted.
- Do not resist unless you are sure you have a good chance of overcoming the attacker and getting to safety. If the attacker is armed and/or you cannot get to safety, quickly concentrate on surviving. Try to note and remember anything which will help identify your attacker, including any marks you made in resisting.
- Get to a safe place immediately, noting landmarks so you can direct police back to the scene of the crime.
- Get someone you can trust to stay with you until the police arrive.
- If you were attacked in your home, do not stay there alone. Go to someone you trust or have them come to you.
- Do NOT wash, douche, shower or bathe and avoid going to the toilet and wiping yourself. Do NOT remove dirt, blood, or semen unless essential to clean wounds or stop bleeding. If your clothes are torn or dirty, put on a robe or loose garment over clothing but do NOT remove.
- Call the police emergency hotline. The sooner your report is made and the attacker described, the swifter will be the collection of evidence and more likelihood of a quick arrest. If you have to wait to make the report, write down everything you can remember in the meantime.
- If you do not want to report the crime immediately, write down all the details in case you change your mind. It is still important that you go to a hospital, clinic, or see a doctor. Your injuries must be determined and a record made. You need tests arranged for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
- If you are under 16, call your legal guardian/parent or a close relative.
- Call the rape crisis center for confidential counseling and referrals.
- Do not feel ashamed or guilty. Someone attacked you. You did not want to be violated. You feel hurt and angry but you have survived. There are caring individuals, sympathetic professionals and special agencies to help you. You are not alone.