Rape - In Your Home, at College, at Work

What Do You Do?

Know that Rape is a crime and women don't bring it on themselves.Tim Pollak, Clinical Psychologist

  • Call the police immediately

  • Do not shower, douche, or change clothing - even though you will want to do all those things

  • Have a medical exam and an internal gynecological exam as soon as possible. ANY delay may destroy evidence. Ask the police if you need help with getting this done

  • Know that semen smears must be taken by a clinician

  • Inform the clinician of exact acts performed on you and have the clinician note any medical evidence of them

  • Have the clinician test for any venereal disease (STDs) anad pregnancy

  • Do not disturb the scene of the assault

  • Show police any external bruises or injuries, however minor, resulting from the attack

  • Know that the police may request your clothing for purposes of evidence

  • Inform the police later, if you happen to remember anything that was not previously reported

    This list is printed from"Self-Defense for Women" Magazine, Winter, 2003

    How You Can Help the Police

    When you are a witness to a crime, or a victim, if possible, concentrate on gathering as much information from the crime scene or perpetrators as possible. As a rape victim, try to collect and retain as much information as you can.

  • Type of car: make, model, license, color
  • Race of rapist*Age, weight, height
  • Hair color and length
  • Color of eyes
  • Clothing
  • Any unusual marks, tattoos, scars, rings, moles
  • Any facial hair
  • Type of accent- this can include ethnic, or regional
  • Strange or distinctive odor
  • Direction of approach of rapist or departure

    After the Police

    Many times the police or the hospital will have resources available to you for help. Call them. Even if you don't want to, do it. Most rape crisis centers are staffed by volunteers who themselves have been raped. They understand.

    You will need to start the healing process, they can help.

    If the police catch your rapist, you may have to testify in court.

    This brings it all up again, and forces you to relive the attack. The defense attorney will do his/her best to destroy your testimony. Get help from Rape Crisis Centers in preparation for the trail, and try to maintain a mind-set of "bring-it on."

    Remember, that your testimony may save some other woman.

    The Independent Women's Forum: Presumption of Male Guilt

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