Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Q&A

Q: What is Sexual Assault?

A: Sexual assault and abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, including:

• Inappropriate touching
• Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
• Sexual intercourse that you say no to
• Rape
• Attempted rape
• Child Molestation

Sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. It can happen in different situations, by a stranger, on a date, or in the home by someone you know.

Q: What do I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?

A: Take steps right away if you have been sexually assaulted.

• Get away from your attacker to a safe place as fast as you can.
• Then call 911 or the police.
• Call a friend or family member you can trust.
• You can also call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor.
• Do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body.
• Do not change clothes if possible, so that the hospital staff can collect evidence.
• Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
• Go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. You or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room to file a report.
• Ask the hospital staff about possible support groups you can attend
• Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.

Help is available.

Q: Where else can I go for help?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can call these national organizations:

• National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
• National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

You can also go to the Solano County Office of Family Violence Prevention (OFVP) website to learn more about sexual assault and find local assistance programs that can help. You can contact our office by dialing (707) 784-7691.

No matter what you choose to do, know that you are not alone. There is help out there for you.

Article excerpt from: Sexual Assault Frequently Asked Questions (2005). Retrieved March 4, 2008 from Women’s Health Website: http:// www.4woman.gov/FAQ/sexualassault.htm