SEXUAL ASSAULT & RAPE

Rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence are terms used to define:

Anytime sexual activity is not consensual, it is considered unwanted sexual contact and classified as sexual assault. Types of sexual assault include: sexual harassment, taking nude photos, and unwanted touching or physical contact.

Often, emotional and/or physical force is used to make a victim submit to the unwanted action.  It doesn’t matter if the unwanted contact was completed or not, it’s still against the law. If someone attempts to rape or sexually assault another person, it is a crime.

RISK

ANYONE – female, male, white, black, hispanic, heterosexual or homosexual, rich, poor, young, old – can be a victim of sexual violence.

  • One out of every 6 women has been a victim of sexual assault (National Institute of Justice, 1998)
  • One out of every 33 men has been a victim of sexual assault (National Institute of Justice, 1998)
  • 93% of juvenile victims know their offender (US Bureau of Justice, 2003)

Ultimately, it’s important for victims to remember that unwanted sexual attention or contact is never the victim’s fault.  There is nothing about the way a victim looks, dresses, talks or acts that gives someone else the right to hurt them or violate them. NO means NO. If both people do not agree to being sexually involved, then it is considered rape or sexual assault. Offenders can also take advantage of vulnerable situations, like when drugs and alcohol are involved.

EFFECTS

Sexual violence can have a devastating impact on the victim, families, and friends that can last a lifetime. The damage to one’s self esteem can be major and it’s normal for victims to feel many different emotions including sadness, shame, betrayal, fear, distrust, and anger.


Depending on the type of unwanted sexual contact, a victim could also be at risk for getting pregnant or sexually transmitted diseases.

WHAT SHOULD DO

You can contact a parent or other trusted adult for support. If you’re not comfortable doing this, you can contact a good friend or call the local Spokane 24-hour confidential Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 509.624.7273.

Other things you can do:

  • Seek medical attention. You can go to the nearest hospital or clinic and ask to be examined to make sure you don’t have any serious physical damage. If you choose to seek medical attention:
    • Do not shower, cleanse your genital area or any other area that has been injured, or change your clothes (including underwear).
    • Tell the healthcare provider what happened, with as much detail as you can.
    • The health care provider will use a rape kit to help obtain as much evidence as possible that could be used if you decide to press charges.
    • Ask to be tested and/or treated for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Consider reporting the assault to the police – sexual assault is against the law.
  • Seek out a rape/sexual assault support group or counseling. The local Spokane 24- hour confidential Sexual Assault Crisis Line (509.624.7273) can help you find a local group.

Sexual Assault & Family Trauma (SAFeT) Resource Center – Inland Northwest Office
24 Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line:  509.624.7273
24-Hour Crime Victim Crisis Line:  866.751.7119

RAINN – (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
800.656.HOPE



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