What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any forced or unwanted sexual contact or activity. It may involve verbal or any type of pressure designed to coerce or force someone to join in unwanted sexual contact or activity. Sexual assault can be perpetrated by a friend, acquaintance, dating partner, stranger, family member, professor, or other person in a position of authority.
Why does rape happen?
Rape is an act of violence motivated by a wish to express power, dominance, anger, and control. Rape is not about unfulfilled sexual desire.
How frequently does sexual assault occur?
One in three women and one is six men will be the victim of some form of sexual assault in their lifetime.
Who can be a victim of sexual assault?
Sexual assault can happen to people of all ages, lifestyles, socioeconomic groups and ethnic groups. Men can also be victims of sexual assault.
Does sexual assault happen to those that identify as LGBTQA+?
Sexual assaults happen to, and are committed by, people of all sexual orientations. All victims of sexual assault have the same rights to support and services.
My perpetrator is the same sex as I am. Does that impact my sexual orientation?
It is normal for victims of sexual assault to experience disruptions in belief systems after the assault, which can include confusion or questioning of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is who you are, who you are attracted to and who you choose to have sex with. Sexual assault has nothing to do with and does not change sexual orientation. People do not "become gay" as a result of being sexually assaulted.
Was I a victim of sexual assault?
You may be a victim of sexual assault if you were:
Pressured, threatened, or forced to engage in sexual activity by a stranger, acquaintance, or intimate partner.
Touched sexually without your consent.
Sexually harassed including obscene phone calls, comments, or unwelcomed propositions by an employer, teacher, co-worker, etc.
Were told to keep secrets about sexual activity when you were a child.
Were unconscious, intoxicated, or otherwise unable to give consent.
Is it possible I know the person who assaulted me?
The majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
I am a male survivor, are sexual assault services still available to me?
YES! Crisis Intervention Services believes that ALL victims deserve support and assistance, regardless of gender.
I am a victim of sexual assault. What do I do?
Help is out there.
Advocacy: Call our Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-270-1620. An advocate can help you by listening, explaining what your options are and supporting you as you make the decisions that are best for you.
Medical: We recommend that you seek medical attention. However, it is up to you whether you receive medical attention. The medical exam will be paid for by the Crime Victims Compensation Program and getting the exam does not mean that you must make a report to the law enforcement. It will allow evidence to be preserved if at a later date you decide to proceed with a legal case. Medical attention will also ensure you are treated for any injuries as a result of the assault; as well as receiving preventative treatment for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. An advocate can be present at these exams to support you.
Police: Sexual assault is a crime and if you choose, you can report it to law enforcement. An advocate can be present at law enforcement interviews, as well as court hearings as a source of support. Remember, sexual assault is NEVER the fault of the victim. Nothing in what you say, the way you look, where you are, or who you are, gives anyone the right to hurt you. It does not matter if you are dating or have ever been intimate with the person who sexually assaulted you. It does not give that person the right to force you to participate in sexual acts if you don't want to, even if you have had sexual activity of any sort with them in the past. It's still wrong and a crime.
I have a friend who is a victim of sexual assault. How can I help?
Victims of violence need supportive family, friends and communities.
Assure them that it was not their fault.
Tell them that you are sorry that it happened to them.
Let them know that you appreciate them being brave enough to share their story with you.
Provide a safe environment for them.
If you are struggling to find the words to support a victim, contact an advocate. We can help.
You can provide them with resources such as our hotline (1-800-270-1620), but remember that it is important for survivors to make their own decisions as a step to regaining control and overcoming feelings of helplessness.