Here are some general guidelines for victims of sexual assaults:
If the Assault Occurred Recently
-Get to a safe place and call someone-the police (call 911), a friend, or a family member. Don’t try to deal with this trauma by yourself.
– Seek medical attention immediately for possible injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy. Evidence will be collected to be used later to prosecute criminal charges. You can remain anonymous and still receive medical attention.
– To preserve evidence, do not shower, wash, bathe, or douche. Try not to urinate.
– If you change clothes, place the clothes from the incident in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence).
– Regardless of whether or not you desire proceed with criminal charges, there are many support services available to you.
If the Assault Occurred Some Time Ago
– You may just now be realizing that you still have options available to you. In Massachusetts, certain instances of sexual assault can be successfully prosecuted, many years after it has occurred. Even though the assault was not previously reported.
– Medical attention may still be needed for treatment of physical symptoms.
– Seek counseling. Unresolved experiences of sexual assault can have long-term psychological effects.Remember!
- Sexual Assault is Never the Victim’s Fault.
- Resources are There for You.
- Believe in Yourself.
- Get Support.
- It Takes Time to Heal.