Frequently Asked Questions
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What do I do if I'm sexually assaulted?
A sexual assault crime is any sexual act committed against a person's will and includes rape, incest, unwanted touching and indecent exposure. Sexual battery requires penetration.
Victims and attackers of sexual assault crimes are from all ages and backgrounds. Attackers are usually someone the victim knows: a partner, friend or family member, but can also be strangers.
It's important to remember that sexual assault is not the victim's fault and no one deserves to be sexually assaulted.
If you are a victim, remember these important things:
- Get to a safe place, a friend's or neighbor's house or any place where people can give you emotional support.
- Don't shower, douche, brush your teeth or change clothes. This may be difficult for you but it's important. Doing any of these things could destroy medical evidence.
- Report the attack as soon as possible by calling BSO or your local police department. Reporting attacks is an important part of ending violence against women.
- Even if you don't believe you're injured, you should protect your health. Seek medical testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and address any concerns about pregnancy.
When you report a rape, an evidence examination will occur. The exam involves removing clothing in a way that preserves evidence, performing a physical and vaginal exam and documenting any injuries, possibly with photos.
Following the exam, law enforcement personnel will ask questions about the attacker's identity and the details of the assault. Some questions may need to be answered more than once.
This procedure is not easy for many women following a rape, but it's crucial if the attacker is to be successfully prosecuted.