Your safety is our primary concern!
Every person responds differently to rape or sexual assault. You may experience a range of emotions such as depression, humiliation, fear, confusion, anger, numbness, guilt, or shame. These are all normal responses. The sexual assault was not your fault. All blame for the assault falls on the person who did not have your full consent and willing participation at the time of sexual contact. Even if you were flirting with the perpetrator at some point prior to the assault, or if you were voluntarily under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the sexual violence was not your fault.
If you have been sexually assaulted and feel unsafe, get to a safe place and seek medical attention, if needed.
Recovering from a sexual assault can be a long, complicated experience. Do not feel guilty if you cannot simply "get over it". There is no right or wrong way to heal, everyone has their own way of becoming a survivor, and you should not try to heal the way someone tells you to if it does not feel right for you.
The resources located below provide confidential assistance and can answer questions about the criminal justice process should you want to consider that option. Advocates have vast experience and training in helping you heal, cope, and effectively manage life after sexual violence.
Recovering from a sexual assault is a long, complicated experience. It is also unhealthy to rely on anyone who does not take you seriously or tries to play down what happened to you. The result of giving credibility to that person could make you feel worse.
What Happens During a Sexual Assault Medical Exam?
When you go to a certified rape crisis center or healthcare provider, for a sexual assault medical exam you can expect to be seen by a registered nurse or a doctor. Sexual assault nurse examiners have training and experience in working with sexual assault victims and collecting evidence.
An exam will take place in a private area and the nurse or doctor will:
- Do a head-to-toe exam checking for injuries
- Conduct a pelvic exam, if necessary
- Likely take urine, saliva, and blood samples
- Look for evidence by combing pubic hairs and getting fingernail samples
- Place items of clothing or other evidence with the sexual assault kit
- Provide for emergency contraception (birth control)
- Provide for sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention medication
- This exam will be free, regardless of whether you are pursuing criminal charges or not. You also have the right to stop the exam at any time and may have an advocate from the Rape Crisis Center with you at the time of the exam.
Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center
Certified Rape Crisis Center
The Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center provides free, confidential medical examinations and can collect evidence for later use, without reporting to law enforcement. Medical staff can detect injuries and offer help regarding concerns of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy as a result of the sexual assault. Sexual assault forensic kits and evidence collected from Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center will be stored for a period of 90 days if the crime is not going to be reported. If you choose to receive a medical examination, the steps below may assist to support the examination.
- Do not shower, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth if you have not already.
- Keep the clothing you were wearing. If you have already changed clothes but have not washed them, put each clothing item in a separate clean paper bag, plastic bags are discouraged.
- Physical evidence and sheets can also be turned over to the medical staff for storing.
- Photograph any visible injuries you have, injuries may heal quickly after an assault.
Call and speak to a counselor at the Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center if you are unsure of what to do.
You may be eligible for financial assistance if you have been the victim of a sexual crime. Please consult the Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center for more information on:
- Medical care
- Lost income
- Mental health services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the injury
Additional resources for support, emotional healing, and assistance include: