What is Rape?
Rape occurs when a person forces another to have sexual intercourse against their will. Over half of all reported rapes occur between people who know each other well. People are raped at school, parties, bars, on dates, in cars, at the beach, in their homes and in the homes of acquaintances.
Victims can be all ages — children, teens and adults. They can be male or female, they can be single, married or recently separated.
Offenders can be friends, neighbours, casual dates, intimate partners, even your spouse — anyone who coerces another into unwanted sexual intercourse.
Did you know? ..One in four women is raped before age 30.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN RAPED
- Call FSN and speak to a counsellor. Call the Police
- Call a close friend or relative to support
- Do not wash or bathe until you have been examined by a doctor.
- Go to the hospital to get tested for STD’s and pregnancy, treated for any physical injuries and to get evidence collected in case you decide to press charges.
- Keep any clothes that were worn during the rape for evidence…do not wash them or throw them away.
- Know that it is not your fault and that you
should not feel ashamed to get help.
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN RAPED
- .. what you say is not as important as your willingness to listen.
- Help remove feelings of guilt… be sure your friend understands that he/she is not to blame, that it is not his/her fault.
- .. one of the most hurtful things that can happen to a victim is not to be believed. Believe what your friend is telling you.
- .. lots of decisions have to be made, like whom to tell, what to do. Let your friend be in control of those decisions and support him/her.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of rape or any form of sexual assault, please contact Family Support Network’s confidential, and free 24-7 Helpline 284-499-0999.
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Sexual assault is a violent crime, an attempt to hurt or humiliate. It includes rape, attempted rape, incest, date rape, acquaintance rape, sexual harassment, stalking, fondling. It is any sexual act that occurs against the victim’s will.
- It can happen to ANYONE
- It can happen anywhere and at a time, in a public place or at your own home or office, day or night.
- Quite often the attacker is someone you ..not a stranger at all. It could be an acquaintance, date, family member or friend.
- Sexual assault is one of the most unreported crimes.
Remember . . . Sexual Assault is not your fault!
THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
The effects of sexual violence can be traumatizing and include:
- Physical symptoms and illnesses such as sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/ AIDS, pregnancy, infertility and sexual
- Psychological trauma: shock, fear, shame, guilt, depression, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, alienation, sleep disorders, eating disorders, flashbacks and low self-esteem.
- Sexual violence can affect your relationships with your family or partner
There is healing after sexual assault… FSN Counselors are trained to help. Counselling is free and confidential.
What Can FSN Do to Help?
- Individual counselling for victims of rape and sexual assault
- Counselling for the families and friends of victims
- Referrals for perpetrators of rape and sexual assault to get help to change victimizing behaviours
- Temporary emergency shelter for victims and their children
- Information and referrals for specialized help, such as drug and alcohol counseling, other social services agencies’ support services and legal assistance.
- Victim Advocacy/Court Support: Information regarding legal rights, assistance submitting paperwork for protection orders, Spanish translator services in court
- Support Groups for survivors of assault
24 HOUR EMERGENCY HELPLINE for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault 284-499-0999Helping Victims of Rape