What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault may include any or all of the following:

  • Forced participation in unwanted sexual activities.
  • Refusal to practice safer sex.
  • Using alcohol and/or other drugs to make someone vulnerable to assault.
  • Making public or threatening to make public your sexual history.
  • Refusing to respect your sexual orientation and/or gender expression.
  • Refusing to honor previously agreed upon boundaries of sex play.
  • Forced use of pornography.

Survivors of sexual assault face greater risk of:

  • Bleeding and infection
  • Painful intercourse
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS

What should you do if you have been sexually assaulted?

  • Remember it is NOT your fault.
  • Avoid showering, eating, drinking, smoking, douching or changing your clothes if possible.
  • Seek emergency medical treatment.
  • If you have already showered, please don’t let that stop you from seeking medical care. Place the clothes you were wearing during the assault in a paper bag and take them to the Hospital with you. Be aware that you do NOT need to inform the police unless you choose to do so. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner services, including evidence collection, are done at the survivor’s request.

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