Some of the terminology used in this article may be graphic in nature, however it serves the purpose of informing and educating the nature of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a terrible act that can leave victims confused, shamed, or afraid to come forward. People of all ages and both genders can be victims of sexual assault. Sadly, sexual assault is a common issue for many people. One out of every six women, one out of every seven children, and one out of every 33 men, and half of all transgender people, have survived a sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault. If you are wondering whether or not you have been sexually assaulted, the following information may help.
You Are Not Alone: Being Raped is Not Your Fault
If you were threatened, asleep, intoxicated or chemically incapacitated, unconscious, under the legal age where you could provide consent, bullied, or you changed your mind and were ignored, or if you, for any reason did not, or could not consent, and someone went ahead anyway, you have been sexually assaulted. If anyone penetrated a part of your body with an object or without you full consent, it is sexual assault.
Rape is an ugly word because it is an ugly act. There is no excuse for rape. Period. It does not matter how you were dressed, where it occurred, what time of day it was, whether you were out alone or with friends, if you were flirting or drinking. Understand that everyone responds differently to sexual assault and not all sexual assault seems violent. Even if your body responded by becoming aroused, if you said no, or at any point did not consent or you could not legally consent, it is sexual assault and it is not your fault.
If you believe you have been raped:
- Get to safety
- Tell someone
- Preserve the evidence of sexual assault (this includes clothes). Do not bathe or change
- Seek medical treatment
- Contact the authorities
- Get support to help you move past the assault
You can go to the nearest hospital, or call 911 for assistance. You should be checked out and may need to seek emergency contraceptives. If you are afraid to tell the police, then at least tell your doctor, a teacher, or someone in authority. There are national and local support groups, and you may need to seek counseling to help you deal with the aftermath of a sexual assault. Above all, remember this: you are not alone and no one has the right to take advantage of your body. It is not okay and it matters. You matter.
At FamilyCare of Kent, we believe in your right to safe, effective medical treatment. We treat our patients with the same compassion we would want for our loved ones. If you would like more information on sexual assault, or any other women’s health or contraceptive issue, we are here to help. You do not have to be ashamed, and should understand the level of privacy and confidentiality that goes into the patient/doctor relationship. Call (253) 859-2273 today, or request an appointment online, to meet with Bob or any other of our other exceptional nurse practitioners at FamilyCare of Kent.