What to Do After a Sexual Assault
- Get to a safe place.
- Call "911".
- Do not bathe or otherwise disturb evidence.
- Call a friend or family member to be with you.
- Ask for victim assistance from the law officer responding. Park County Sheriff's Office Victim Services staff and/or volunteer advocates are available 24/7.
- You will need medical attention to assess your health and safety. This will be arranged by the Park County Sheriff's Officer and Victim Advocate who respond to your call.
- All procedures will be explained and a victim advocate will accompany you to the hospital for a sex assault nurse examination (SANE) and a "rape kit" will be used to collect any evidence.
- Both law enforcement and private agencies can supply you with counseling referrals and provide follow-up support for you and your family.
- Even if you do not wish to report a sexual assault, you should seek medical treatment.
Safety and Prevention
- Trust your feelings. If a situation feels uncomfortable, trust your intuition and do not be afraid of making a scene or calling attention to yourself.
- In a dating or social situation, be wary of anyone who behaves in an intrusive manner, comes on too strong or who chooses not to listen to you. Know that alcohol and/or drugs greatly reduce your judgment regarding safety and be extra wary of anyone who seems to be trying to intoxicate you.
- At home, keep windows and doors locked at all times.
- On the street, walk with confidence - keep your head up and pay close attention to your environment.
- In your car, lock your car as you get in and out. Have your keys ready as you approach to get in. Park, walk and jog in well-lit and populated areas.
- Enroll in a Personal Safety Skills class (self-defense) to learn more ways to protect yourself.
- Work towards changing cultural attitudes about sexual violence by:
- Recognizing and speaking out against transphobia, homophobia, and gay-bashing. This abuse has direct links to sexism and sexual violence
- Support movies, video games, and musicians that promote positive attitudes and behaviors. Speak out against "entertainment" that condones violence against women and sexual violence.
- Communicate your sexual expectations and respect your partner's boundaries. Engaging in 1 sexual act does not mean consenting to others.
- If a friend, family member, classmate, or co-worker is abusive or disrespectful to girls and women, don't simply ignore it. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him/her about it. If you don't know what to do, reach out to someone you trust or contact your local rape crisis center for support.
- The victim can call the police and make a report. OR
- Call a victim service organization for:
- A forensic medical exam for evidence collection as well as checking for injury, treatment for possible infections and/or pregnancy as a result of the crime.
- The medical exam is performed by a specially trained R.N. and is at NO COST to the victim regardless of their involvement with law enforcement.
- If the victim chooses to go to the police or hospital, s/he will be accompanied by a victim advocate. The victim may also choose to take a friend.
- A victim advocate will explain options, including victim compensation, the reporting process (if not already done), forensic exams, counseling and other services. Working with a victim advocate is no cost to the victim.