Sexual assault and abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, including:
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.” Examples of this are voyeurism (when someone watches private sexual acts), exhibitionism (when someone exposes him/herself in public), incest (sexual contact between family members), and sexual harassment. It can happen in different situations: in the home by someone you know, on a date, or by a stranger in an isolated place.
Rape is a common form of sexual assault. It is committed in many situations — on a date, by a friend or an acquaintance, or when you think you are alone. Educate yourself on “date rape” drugs. They can be slipped into a drink when a victim is not looking. Never leave your drink unattended — no matter where you are. Attackers use date rape drugs to make a person unable to resist assault. These drugs can also cause memory loss so the victim doesn’t know what happened.
Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault — no matter where or how it happens.
What do I do if I've been sexually assaulted?
These are important steps to take right away after an assault:
While at the hospital:
Where else can I go for help?
If you are sexually assaulted, it is not your fault. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. Help is available. You can call these organizations:
There are many organizations and hotlines in every state and territory. These crisis centers and agencies work hard to stop assaults and help victims. Find contact information for these organizations. You also can obtain the numbers of shelters, counseling services, and legal assistance in your phone book or online.
How can I lower my risk of sexual assault?
There are things you can do to reduce your chances of being sexually assaulted. Follow these tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.
You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital, or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed.
SA Material gathered from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/sexual-assault.html