Preface xv next steps (e.g., getting a sexual assault forensic exam, filing a report). If you do not have a local rape crisis center or do not know how to reach them, you can call RAINN’s national hotline at 1-800-856-HOPE (4673). The national hotline is staffed 24/7 and will route you to a trained staff member from a sexual assault provider that is located in your area. A victim may also choose to go to a hospital or other medical provider for follow-up medical care, including treatment for injuries and disease and pregnancy tests. A medical visit can also include a sexual assault forensic exam, which collects DNA evidence that may be left by the perpetrator either on the victim’s body or clothes. If possible, avoid showering or cleaning your body before a forensic exam. Sexual assault survivors on college campuses may have cam- pus police departments and campus-specific resources like vic- tim centers, health clinics, and/or counseling services. Military personnel have the option to report their assaults either to the military justice system or to civilian authorities and, likewise, may have their own resource centers and counseling services. For victims who are incarcerated, the Department of Correc- tions provides services including a rape crisis hotline, mental health counseling, and forensic medical exams. Most importantly, if you have experienced unwanted sexual contact of any kind, regardless of the type of sexual contact regardless of your sex, gender, or sexual orientation regard- less of the sex, gender, or sexual orientation of the perpetrator regardless of your use of substances or if you were intoxicated regardless of whether you know the perpetrator, you are not to blame. Seek out supportive friends, family, or trained mental or physical health professionals. If you are concerned about confidentiality when speaking to officials, remember to ask about their obligation to report information before you speak to them. Remember, you have legal rights, whether you are on a military base, a college campus, a prison cell, or anywhere else. Seek out those who will help and try to avoid those who will not.
Previous Page Next Page