What should you do after a sexual assault?
Posted May 6, 2021
Sexual assault can happen to anyone and be perpetrated by anyone. For victims of sexual assault, this will likely be the most traumatic experience of their lifetimes. While victims of sexual assault will face incomprehensible stress and fear, it is important to know what to do if you are the victim of an attack.
Immediately after an assault:
Call 9-1-1. Do your best to explain what happened, what the perpetrator looks like, and any other relevant information. While this is an extremely difficult step for any victim following an assault, it will assist law enforcement greatly in efforts to apprehend the perpetrator. Take the officer’s contact information so you can contact them if needed.
Get medical help. You need medical attention if you are hurt. The hospital can document your injuries. If you have been sexually assaulted, we understand you may want to clean up before going to the hospital, but this can remove important evidence. Rest assured, the hospital workers will allow you to change clothes and clean up after you have been examined.
Call someone you trust. Don’t go through this alone.
After talking to the police and getting medical care:
Contact an attorney to discuss your options. If the police are able to identify and catch the perpetrator, it’s within your rights to press criminal charges.
Stay safe. If you know the attacker, do not interact with them. If you are afraid they may attack you again, talk to your attorney about getting a restraining order or other legal protection. Don’t talk to anyone who knows the perpetrator.
Talk to a professional. Assaults and attacks are traumatizing. Talking to someone removed from the situation can help you find ways to cope with the trauma.
Taking the above steps can provide you with the opportunity to heal and take your attacker to court.
Criminal Charges and Civil Awards
The criminal justice system will deal with criminal charges against your attacker. However, not only can abusers be charged criminally, but you may also be able to hold them to account through financial compensation. Damages can include money for medical bills and treatment including therapy and counseling, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive rewards.
We understand what you have been through. We understand the physical and emotional pain that you suffered. Therefore, we promise you compassion, empathy, and support that you deserve. We will fight for you and help you on your path to recovery. Please contact us for a free, confidential consultation about your personal situation.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673). You’ll be connected to a trained staff member from a local sexual assault service provider in your area. They will direct you to the appropriate local health facility that can care for survivors of sexual assault.
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