Rape and Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and sexual abuse take many different forms. By definition, sexual assault is any type of sexual encounter without a person’s consent, including:

  • rape
  • attempted rape
  • child molestation
  • inappropriate touching
  • incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • voyeurism (when someone watches private sexual acts)
  • indecent exposure
  • sexual harassment

Sexual assault can happen to anyone. No matter who a victim is – woman, child or man – sexual assault is never their fault. No matter where or how it happens.

What To Do

  1. If you have been sexually assaulted, get away from your attacker to a safe place and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  2. Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible.
    • Medical professionals are trained to screen you for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. They will also collect evidence that your attacker may have left behind.
    • Victims of sexual assault are eligible to have the cost of these services paid for by the Sexual Assault Victims Emergency (SAVE) Fund if they go to a hospital within 7 days of an assault.
    • Hospital staff can connect you with a rape crisis center or counselor who will help you make decisions about reporting the attack to law enforcement.

For more information, contact a shelter or rape crisis center near you » or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.