If you have been sexually assaulted, take these steps IMMEDIATELY:
- GET TO A SAFE PLACE, CALL 911 AND REPORT THE ASSAULT TO POLICE.
- DO NOT WASH, COMB, OR CLEAN ANY PART OF YOUR BODY. Do not change clothes if possible, so hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
- GO TO YOUR NEAREST HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The doctor will collect evidence using a rape kit for fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker mat have left behind.
- CALL THE NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE AT 1-800-656-HOPE(4673) Or ask the hospital staff to connect you with the local rape crisis center.
Do you have SAFETY concerns?
Are you afraid?
Do you feel safe?
Is the assailant someone you know?
Do you want to report a crime to the police or other law enforcement agency?
Are you being treated as if you are guilty of crime?
Do you have IMMIGRATION concerns?
Have you fallen out of status?
Is your immigration status in jeopardy?
Do you need to become a citizen?
Do you have EDUCATION concerns?
Are you having trouble at school?
Are you safe at school?
Is the assailant a fellow student?
Do people at school know?
Did the assault happen on campus?
Do you have FINANCIAL concerns?
Is insurance covering your medical bills?
Do you have unpaid medical bills?
Are you eligible to receive help from the Crime Victim Reparation Fund?
Do you want help to fill out forms for medical insurance or for criminal court?
Do you want restitution or to make a statement at the sentencing of the criminal?
Do you have PRIVACY concerns?
Do you have questions about criminal or juvenile court?
Are people asking you questions about what happened that make you feel uncomfortable?
Are you concerned that your private medical information will be made public?
Do you want to protect your confidential records in a criminal case?
Do you have EMPLOYMENT concerns?
Did you lose your job?
Did you have to take days off?
Are you safe at work?
Is the assailant a co-worker?
Do you need to apply for an unemployment benefits?
Do you have HOUSING concerns?
Are you safe at home?
Were you assaulted by a neighbor or your landlord?
Are your rights to live in your housing being questioned?
Do you need an order for protection?
When should you call Civil Society?
AFTER YOU HAVE REPORTED THE CRIME TO THE POLICE. Call Civil Society at 1-800-772-3324 if you would like additional help. We maintain this hotline to assist and support sexual assault victims. You will receive recorded information and have an opportunity your leave your name and phone number. A representative will respond within 3 business days.
How can Civil Society help?
Civil Society understands that victims of sexual assault often face multiple legal challenges stemming from their assault. To better serve victims of sexual assault, Civil Society offers comprehensive legal services at no cost to the victims. These services include:
- Representation for Protection Orders
- Family Law
- Financial Security
- Medical Insurance
- Report to Law Enforcement
- Information about Criminal Court
Understand your rights as a crime victim:
Cooperate with your County Attorney’s Office to prosecute the crime. Contact the Victims’ Assistance Office located in the county where the crime is being prosecuted. You may be eligible for reimbursement of the expenses you incurred as a result of the crime. A victim has many rights during a criminal prosecution. For example, you have the right to be notified of the financial disposition of the case, the right to provide input at different stages of the criminal process, and the right to request that your identity be withheld from the public and that certain information not be disclosed in open court.
Be aware of Civil Remedies that may be available to you as a victim:
Regardless of whether the County Attorney or the police have been involved with your case, there are civil actions you can take for your protection or against the assailant to compensate you for the harm you have suffered.
- Civil monetary damages (including restitution if defendant is found guilty or enters a guilty plea).
- Housing protection. Domestic abuse victims have the ability to terminate a lease without penalty or payment.
- Employment protection. Your employer may not retaliate against you or witnesses called to testify. Your employer may not retaliate against you or your family members if you have been a victim of a violent crime and are taking reasonable time off to attend court proceedings
- Immigration assistance.
- Administrative benefits (e.g. Social Security for Disability, TA-DVS)
- Family Law
- Child Support
Some other helpful resources:
- Minnesota Department of Corrections Victim Assistance Program 1-800-657-3830
- Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board
- Minnesota Office of Justice Programs
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identify (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded … [Violence Against Women Act]
This Statewide Sexual Assault Legal Services was supported by Grant No. 2013-WL-AX-0010 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessary reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women.
Sexual Assault Statistics:
- Over 200,000 men, women, and children over the age of 12 are sexually assaulted in the United States every year.
- 1 in 4 female college students report either being sexually assaulted or have experienced attempted sexual assault.
- 44% of sexual assault victims in the US are under 18
- While women are usually the victims of sexual assault, men are frequently sexually assaulted as well. Sexual assault is an underreported crime due to legal and cultural boundaries that make it difficult for victims to speak out against their aggressors.
- A common occurrence that hinders the prosecution of perpetrators is when there is no preservation of medical evidence.
- Other hindrances include feelings of shame, fear of losing anonymity, and fear of retaliation for reporting by either the perpetrator or friends and family of the victim.