Being sexually assaulted is definitely a very painful experience which has a huge impact on a victim’s life. At the same time, it is the attack on so delicate private sphere that not many survivors decide to report the crime to the police. While even 20% of college women had this terrible experience, two-thirds of such incidents remain unreported.
Actually, this crime is the most unreported one in America. It is a very sad truth, since we must be aware that rapists usually continue their contemptible activity until they finally end up in jail. What if nobody decides to report the criminal’s deeds? More women can be hurt.
It is hard for victims to talk about rape, but we really need to understand that it is both our right and responsibility to find justice and also protect the rest of society from deviants. You may be ashamed or feel guilty, but know that it is not your fault, no matter what. Nothing justifies sexual violence.
Don’t be afraid!
It is important to find courage and take action to punish the rapist. Below you can find some tips which will tell you what to do if you want to report sexual assault.
- Report the crime as soon as possible.
If you have a phone just call 911 and tell what have happened. In this way, your case will be much stronger. Evidence will be fresh and witnesses and even the assailant will be interviewed. Remember that DNA from semen survives up to 72 hours so time really counts here.
- Think about the evidence which is right on your body such as hairs, skin cells, clothing fibers.
Survivors usually want to clean themselves immediately, which is justifiable, but in this way they remove the precious evidence.
- Go to hospital to have a rape kit done.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is present in many hospitals. Her task is to examine your injuries, collect evidence and write down the statement of what have happened. You will also receive medicine thanks to which, you will avoid potential diseases and pregnancy.
- Even if it happened on campus, report it to the local police not to your university.
What punishment can be done by your college? Expelling the assailant from campus. Would you find it satisfying? Hardly. The criminal justice system can guarantee more severe types of punishment (including jail of course).
- It is never too late to report the sexual assault.
It is still possible to win a case even after years. Nowadays, there are programs which inform about reports even if victims are not sure whether to press charges or not. Using it, you can check if your assailant have been reported before.
- You must be strong.
Nobody guarantees you that your case will be won. However, reporting sexual assaults is very important in itself. It shows the assailants that they cannot feel unchastised, because women are too weak to go to police. Keeping this under cover gives more assent for such behavior.
- Do not let this experience ruin your life.
You may need professional help and do not hesitate to ask for one. You were hurt once, you do not need to suffer more. Let other people help you. The worst thing you could do is to feel guilty. No, you are NOT guilty.