- The victim has the right to have an advocate present.
- The victim has the right to have privileged communication with an advocate.
- The victim has the right to have an advocate present during a sexual assault exam.
- The victim can choose to complete sexual assault exam or not – adults or minors regardless of reporting to police.
- The victim has the right to have a free sexual assault exam.
- The victim can withdraw consent for completing the sexual assault exam at any time.
- The victim can have the hospital store sexual assault kit for at least a year if not ready to report to police.
- The victim has the right to receive free HIV preventative medication.
- The victim has the right to be notified of sexual assault kit testing, results, and if the kit will be destroyed.
- The victim has the right to report or not to police.
- The only exception is if it is a child abuse/dependency/neglect.
- Note: Not all child sexual abuse/assault is mandated to be reported to police.
- The victim has the right to attend any and all court proceedings including juvenile court.
- The victim has the right to have an advocate in all court proceedings.
- The victim has the right to complete victim impact statements before sentencing or release, including shock probation and parole.
- The victim has the right to receive a free copy of defendant’s pre-trial conditions of release.
- The victim has the right to a possible closed-circuit trial testimony for victims under the age of 12.
- The victim has the right to apply for victim’s compensation.
- The victim has the right to apply for a protective order.
- The victim can register with VINE to receive automatic notification of court date, offender status, and service of protective orders.
Parts of a SAFE (sexual assault forensic examination) (“rape kit”)
DNA evidence may be collected up to 96 hours after an assault. A person may do all, none, or just some part of this voluntary kit. A person may start and then completely stop having the kit done. Some of these may not be done, depending on the kind of assault.
- Victim’s medical history
- Victim’s descriptions of sexual assault
- Taking blood sample
- Undressing, providing underwear, clothing, and shoes as evidence
- Combing of pubic hair
- Pulling out 30 pubic hairs
- Swabbing of vagina or penis
- Swabbing of external genitalia
- Swabbing of anus
- Swabbing of mouth
- Swabbing of cheeks
- Swabbing other parts of body for dried secretions
-A sexual assault nurse examiner (R.N., SANE) may perform evidence collection with patients 14+ years old in the E.R.
-Any qualified medical professional in the E.R. may perform evidence collection on patients of any age-child or adult.
-In some cases children may be referred to a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) for the medical exam. www.cacgrd.org
- Regulate your breathing so that it is slow and even from your bellybutton.
- Carry a soothing object or essential oil in your pocket/purse/bag to touch or smell.
- Select your top 3 go-to coping skills to use if you think about or see your perpetrator in a public place or in court.
- Call New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services 24/7 at 1-800-226-7273.
- Text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Call 911 if in immediate danger.
- Apply for a protective order.
- Request police to drive by your house.
- Install, update, or change a home security system, including locks on doors and windows.
- Use lamp timers so lights inside your house go on/off randomly.
- Vary the routes you drive or walk
- Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your house/apartment/car.
- Reduce or close social media accounts.
- Change privacy levels.
- Limit what you choose to share on social media.
Psychological First Aid
You have experienced a significant brain-based, psychological, and emotional trauma. Your psychological/emotional state and sense of safety have been greatly impacted. There are effective things you can do now to learn how to manage feelings, calm your body/mind and allow your brain to process what happened:
- Practice relaxed breathing
- Take a walk
- Go to a crisis couseling session
- Learn about the effects of sexual trauma
- Learn and use healthy coping and grounding skills
*Trauma-informed therapy may be needed to best ensure emotional and behavioral health and wellbeing.