Sexual assault happens. More often than reported. One in three women and one in six men will be the victim of a sexual assault in their lifetime. For a victim, it opens up a whole new world, and not one that would be a chosen road. Sexual assault, besides being a physically violent event or at the very least, extremely invasive, it is embarrassing and hard to deal with. It can, and usually does, affect the rest of your life. It can affect all of the relationships in your life, new and old. It will be hard to trust people anymore. Many people shut out everyone in their life, even their family and loved ones. Unfortunately, many people who are sexually assaulted never seek help in dealing with the emotionally issues that arise from it. Getting help is a great way to actually start dealing with what happened to you. Talk about it – with a friend, a family member, your clergy, or a helpline/center, like the Rape Recovery Center. Talk, talk, talk! It will help you, even if it takes a while. Remember, others who have also been through it can be quite helpful in talking with.
From the Rape Recovery Center website:
What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
1. Find a safe environment – anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support.
2. Know that what happened was not your fault and that now you should do what is best for you.
3. Report the attack to police by calling 911. If you want more information, a crisis counselor on the Rape Recovery Center Crisis Line (801-467-7273) can help you understand the process.
To preserve evidence of the attack, don’t bathe or brush your teeth.
Write down all the details you can recall about the attack and the attacker.
To preserve forensic evidence, ask the hospital to conduct a rape kit exam. Costs for this exam will be covered by Crime Victim Reparations. You can receive this exam whether you choose to involve the criminal justice system or not.
If you suspect you have been drugged, ask that a urine sample be collected. The sample will need to be analyzed later on by a forensic lab.
4. If you know that you will never report, there are some things you should still consider:
Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy.
Call the Rape Recovery Center Crisis Line (801-467-7273) or the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) for free, confidential counseling, 24 hours a day.
5. Recognize that healing from rape takes time. Give yourself the time you need.
6. Know that it’s never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, the Rape Recovery Center can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.
What should I do if I am a victim of incest?
First, know that this is not your fault. No one deserves to be abused. Get some help. You do not have to handle this on your own.
Tell a trusted adult. If you can’t talk to a parent, can you talk to… A teacher? A school counselor? A friend’s parent? Your doctor?A church leader?
If you do not have any trusted adults in your life, you can also call Child Protective Services (CPS) at the Division of Child and Family Services.
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES (CPS)…………(801) 538-4100
24-Hour Child Abuse Reporting………… (801) 538-4377
24-Hour Toll Free………………………… (800) 678-9399
Your local police department can also help you contact CPS.
Be prepared. Not every adult, even trusted adults, is able to help. You may need to tell more than one person before you find someone who can help.
If you need help thinking through these options, call the Rape Recovery Center Crisis Line (801-467-7273) at any time, 24 hours a day. (Be aware that mandatory reporting laws apply to crisis line workers, if you disclose personal information.)
Know that it’s never too late to call. Even if the incest happened years ago, the Rape Recovery Center can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.
Remember that no one deserves to be abused. Help is available.
On August 12, 2016, Cocktails for a Cause is holding a fundraiser for the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City. If you are in the area, please come out! There will be drinks, fun people, music, items for sale and a raffle. All proceeds will be going to the RRC. It will be at the Redwood Lounge 502 S. Redwood Rd. SLC, UT. If you are not here but want to donate, email me and I will be able to help you out there.