Warning: Contents May Be Hot

What to do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted And/or Rape

I need to take a second to talk about something very serious, because I recently got news of an event that greatly upset me and this information could’ve helped someone very special to me, had she known it at the time.

Being in a situation where you have just been assaulted is bad enough as it is, having a police officer or 911 operator be extremely insensitive doesn’t help the situation at all. It’s sad but I’ve consistently heard stories where police officers just don’t take the crime seriously enough or the rape victim is practically humiliated and belittled by being asked stupid questions like “What were you wearing?” and “Did you have too much to drink?” and recently, this conversation surfaced (which I have embedded below) that caused a huge stir because a 911 operator tells a rape victim to “quit crying”.

This is why it is very important to remind people that in the immediate aftermath of an assault, they have alternatives for seeking help other than their local police station if they don’t feel comfortable enough to do so.

  • Before showering or washing away any potential evidence, go to the hospital. Hospitals are required to prioritize assault victims right after life threatening cases. A girl I used to date is trained as a nurse and she also told me that they have ushered victims to private rooms (one time even the nurses’ lobby), so that they don’t have to sit in the waiting room. The hospital is also equipped to collect evidence, testing for possible STDs and/or date rape drug, and making sure you aren’t hurt physically. Overall it is also more likely to come into contact with someone who is more sensitive to you, considering nurses have been trained to care for others and handle traumatic events.
  • Call the rape crisis center hotline. RAINN is the hotline I’ve heard the most about and it’s a toll free call. (1-800-656-HOPE) They provide so many incredible services, including connecting you to a rape crisis center in your area, generally knowing what to say to calm you down a little bit and they even could provide someone to guide you through the process if you have no one you’re able to confide in.
  • Remind yourself in this situation that while this is an unfortunate event that has happened to you, you are still the wonderful person you were before. You are not any less of a person nor are you to blame for what happened or how you reacted to what happened. The people who love you still love you. Repeat this to yourself if you have to.

If you do choose to press charges and have to speak to police officers, RAINN can also provide someone to go with you. Having known a lot of police officers, I can assure you most of them are not bad people. The problem we’re still having even after all this time is that crimes like rape are still not viewed as serious as crimes like being stabbed.  At the end of the day, it is everyone’s own choice whether they choose to press charges against the perpetrator, but as this is how the current statistics look:

I hope none of you are even in this situation, but if you unfortunate are, I really urge you do so because we need these statistics and just the general climate regarding sexual assault to change.

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