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Help For Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is extremely prevalent in today’s society. Many victims, unaware of their rights or not having a clear definition of what sexual assault is, let the crime go unreported.

Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual advances or contact that stops short of forced intercourse or attempted rape. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Fondling
  • Obscene phone calls
  • Exhibitionism
  • Masturbation in front of
  • Sexual touching
  • Involving the victim in pornography
  • Advances of a sexual nature

Types of Sexual Assault

Children: Sexual assault against a child may include incest, which is sexual abuse by relatives and family members. Other forms of sexual assault against children can involve acquaintances, family friends, or strangers.

Men: Many sexual assaults against men are unreported because of the stigma perceived by some members of today’s society. Men may feel they should have been able to fight off the other party involved, or they may feel ashamed to report the assault due to the stereotype that men who have been assaulted become sexual predators.

Women: Many women fall prey to sexual assaults and are afraid to report the incident due to fear of continued harassment, being labeled, or extremely low self esteem.

Workplace: Any unwelcome sexual advances, touching, requests, or implications that employment status hinges on sexual favors is assault in the workplace.

Professional: When a person in an authority or trusted professional position, such as a policeman, therapist, doctor, teacher, or priest uses their trusted position and authority to make sexual advances toward another person.

What Can You Do?

The most important thing to do is retain your sense of self worth and report the incident to the proper authorities. Never settle for being treated in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. The Orchid Recovery Center also helps victims of sexual assault who have fallen into a substance dependency in an effort to cope with the trauma.

Once you have reported the incident, there are many resources that can help you to work through your pain and the trauma of the experience.

Also, be sure to fully inform your children about the possibility of sexual assault. Let them know that they are in full control over their own level of comfort and that under no circumstances should anyone be allowed to speak to them or touch them in a way that is inappropriate.

If you, as a parent, teacher, or adult find it difficult to communicate with your children or students about this issue, there are many available resources, including videos, guest speakers for your classroom, and other avenues to make sure your child is fully aware of their rights. Knowledge of these situations is one of the best forms of prevention.

Links and Resources:

  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Assault
  • Indicators of Sexual Abuse in Children
  • Reporting and Treatment of Sexual Assault This is a medical resource. What to do if you’ve been assaulted.
  • Drug Rehab for those who may have been assaulted while under the influence of drugs &/or while suffering from chemical dependency.
  • Sexual Assault and Abuse Survivor Stories Surviving to Thriving website also offers a way to contact and message survivors and others in the same situation.
  • Rape Trauma Syndrome, PTSDExplanation of mental and emotional aftermath of assault and where to find help and counseling.
  • National Center for Professional Abuse How to report or detect when those in professional positions abuse their authority in order to sexually abuse or assault their victims.
  • Ritual Abuse Also known as cult related abuse, this site offers healing and information regarding this form of extreme sexual abuse.
  • National Registry of Sexual Offenders Be informed. This is the National Registry of all sexual offenders and their current residential locations.
  • Was I Raped? A clear definition of the different types of sexual assault and what can be done
  • Domestic Violence Resources
  • SARAThe Sexual Assault Resource Agency

Hotlines and Crisis Centers:

  • Rape Crisis Center 24/hr Hotline (210) 349-7273 Helping Men, Women, and Children.
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center (877) 739-3895
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) (800) 656-HOPE Help, resources, and counseling for Women, Men, Affected Family Members, Children, and Victims of Incest.
  • DC Rape Crisis Center (202) 333-RAPE Spanish / English – Helping Children, Teens, Gays, Transgenders, Men, and Women.
  • Date Rape and Violence Help (800) FYI-CALL Provides excellent information especially for teens and answers legal questions: How a teen can obtain a protection order, stalking resources, downloadable brochures.
  • Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling (517) 337-1717 A 24/hr Free Counseling Center for Sexual Assault and Abuse Victims.

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Further Reading

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