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Remember: it was not your fault.
No matter what you did or didn't do, you didn't ask or deserve to be raped or sexually assaulted

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED

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While this may be the last thing on your mind, preserving any physical evidence will help with your case. Even if you're not sure if you're going to follow through on a report the assault to the police, it's a good idea to observe the following guidelines until you decide:

It's important that you do not take a shower or a bath.
If you did take a shower or bath, be sure to save the towel you used afterwards.
Try not to eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, or take in anything by mouth.
If possible, don't urinate or use the restroom.
If you've changed your clothes, take all of the clothes you were wearing during the assault and put them in a brown paper bag.
Don't douche.
If you're on your period, keep the tampon or pad.
If a condom was used and you can safely acquire it, save the condom.
If it was a stranger assault, make a mental note of any items (such as furniture, he steering wheel, or a glass) the perpetrator may have touched.
Don't drink any alcoholic beverages or use any drugs after the assault.
If you are intoxicated and can't remember the assault, save any drinks you consumed that the perpetrator had access to.
For now, limit your conversation with friends and relatives about the assault.
Don't have any intimate relations until after the sexual assault exam.
If you go to the emergency room, the exam should just be visual unless there is an immediate need for medical attention.

•If you choose to report the assault, report as soon as possible. Just call 911 or your local police department, and they will guide you from there.

•The police may decide that a medical exam is needed to collect evidence. If so, they will call the Sexual Assault Emergency Response Team (SART) and drive you to a specially equipped hospital. You won't be going through this alone. When you get to the hospital, your advocate from the local rape crisis center will be waiting for you as well as a sexual assault nurse examiner.

•If law enforcement requests the exam, California law states that you can't be billed for it.

•If you're not sure about reporting, we have provided some reasons to report to help you make an informed decision. We also invite you to call our twenty-four hotline at (818) 886-0453 or (661) 253-0258. Whatever you decide is okay with us.

•It's important to make sure that you are okay; this means medical attention is needed. Places you can go include your family physician, Planned Parenthood, or a local family planning clinic. Note that all medical providers are mandated reporters and will call law enforcement if they have knowledge of or suspect sexual assault.

•It is a good idea to talk to a professional counselor to begin the healing process. You have bravely survived a trauma. Many trauma survivors experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Without treatment, survivors often find themselves feeling depressed, anxious, or self-destructive. Counseling can help alleviate these symptoms and keep other ones from coming up. Counseling at Valley Trauma Center can be arranged by calling our twenty-four hotline at (818) 886-0453 or (661) 253-0258.

 

Remember: it was not your fault.
No matter what you did or didn't do, you didn't as
k or deserve to be raped or sexually assaulted

 

 
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