FOCUS

Foundation of Caring, Understanding & Services

Sexual Assault

Myths and Facts:
 
 
Myth: He bought dinner and paid for everything, so I have to have sex with him.
 
Truth:  You ALWAYS have the right to say no to sex.  Even within a relationship or marriage you have the right to say no to sex. 
 
 

Myth: Rape is almost always by a stranger of a different race than me.


 
 

Truth:  Sexual assault is almost never perpetrated by a stranger.  The rapist is usually a friend, acquaintance or partner.  Perpetrators are most often the same race as the victim.

 

Myth:  Rape is when someone holds a gun or knife to the victim and threatens them.


 
 

Truth: A weapon is rarely used in rapes.  Threats of violence and  physical intimidation are more commonly used, but most often rape is just the perpetrators’ refusal to take.

 

Myth:  Women get raped because wear slutty clothes or act seductively.


 
 

Truth:  What a woman wears or how she act has little to no impact on the actions of a rapist.  Rape is never the fault of the victim.  The only person at fault is the perpetrator. 

 

Victims Statistics

Frequency of Sexual Assault Statistics 
Reporting Statistics 
Rapists Statistics



Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Policy
On Forensic Medical Exams for Sexual Assault Victims
NOT Reporting to Law Enforcement


While a victim of sexual assault in Wyoming has the opportunity to participate in the criminal justice system, victims of sexual assault will not be required to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to be provided a forensic medical exam.

Victims of sexual assault shall have access to a forensic medical exam upon their request. When a victim of sexual assault presents to victim advocates, medical professionals or law enforcement and chooses NOT to report the assault to law enforcement and/or wants to remain anonymous, they shall, if they desire, be provided a forensic medical exam.

If, at the time the exam is conducted, the victim chooses not to report the assault to law enforcement and the exam is performed by a trained examiner, the medical facility will bill the Wyoming Division of Victim Services for the costs of the forensic medical exam.

If forensic evidence is collected, the evidence will be turned over to the local law enforcement (without the victims name) that would otherwise have jurisdiction, who will maintain custody of the evidence using the medical facility's identification number in lieu of the patient's name.

The evidence shall be maintained at the receiving law enforcement agency for a period of (18) eighteen months. If a report has not been made, the evidence will be destroyed after (18) eighteen months.
  


See 42 U.S.C. 3796gg-4(d)
The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005)

Was I Raped??????

How can you figure out if what happened was rape? There are a few questions to consider:

 

Sexual Violence

Be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape. For a precise legal definition, check the laws in your state.

Rape

Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.

Acquaintance Rape

Acquaintance assault involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person's will by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know.

Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual violence of children often includes incest as a subset of this form of sexual violence. While there is a substantial amount of overlap in the two types of violence, for the purposes of this website we have separated them in recognition of the different needs that victims of each type of violence may have.

Child Abuse

Child abuse takes place when a child is harmed by someone else physically, psychologically, or by acts of neglect.

Dating and Domestic Violence

Dating and domestic violence occurs in all socio-economic, educational, racial, and age groups. The issues of power and control are at the heart of family violence.

Drug Facilitated Sexual Violence

Drug facilitated sexual violence is the type of sexual violence in which drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual's ability to consent to sexual activity.

Hate Crimes

A hate crime is the victimization of an individual based on that individual's race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender, or sexual orientation.

Incest

Incest is the type of sexual contact that occurs between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.).

Male Sexual Violence

Men and boys are also the victims of the crimes of sexual violence, sexual abuse, and rape. In fact, in the U.S., over 10% of all victims are male.

Partner Rape

Partner rape includes sexual acts committed without a person's consent and/or against a person's will when the perpetrator is the individual's current partner (married or not), previous partner, or co-habitator.

Sexual Exploitation by Helping Professionals

Sexual exploitation by helping professionals involves sexual contact of any kind between a helping professional — doctor, therapist, teacher, priest, professor, police officer, lawyer, etc. — and a client/patient.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individual's work or school performance.

Stalking

The impact of stalking can be profound and life altering. Individuals who are stalked often change many of their behavior patterns and have strong emotional responses to the stalking.

Stranger Rape

3 major categories include Blitz Sexual Assault, Contact Sexual Assault, and Home Invasion Sexual Assault.


 

The Effects of Sexual Assault on Victims

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Survivors of sexual assault may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress or fear, known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a direct result of the assault.

Victims of rape or sexual assault may turn to alcohol or other substances in an attempt to relieve their emotional suffering.

Deliberate self-harm, or self-injury, is when a person inflicts physical harm on himself or herself.

Described as a victim’s emotional “bonding” with their abuser, Stockholm Syndrome develops subconsciously and on an involuntary basis.

There are many emotional and psychological reactions that victims of rape and sexual assault can experience. One of the most common of these is depression.

Table of Sexually Transmitted Infections, their symptoms, treatment, and possible complications.

If you were recently raped, you may have concerns about becoming pregnant from the attack. If the rape happened a long time ago, you may have concerns about a pregnancy that resulted from the attack.

A flashback is when memories of past traumas feel as if they are taking place in the current moment.

Borderline Personality Disorder, known as BPD, is one of many possible long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse.

The long term effects on survivors of childhood sexual assault and/or abuse.

Many survivors of sexual assault suffer from sleep disturbances and disorders.

Victims and survivors with eating disorders often use food and the control of food as an attempt to deal with or compensate for negative feelings and emotions.

Body memories are when the stress of the memories of the abuse experienced by an individual take the form of physical problems that cannot be explained by the usual means.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously referred to as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a dissociative disorder in which two or more separate and distinct identities (or personalities) control an individual's behavior at different times.

If you are currently thinking about suicide, or know someone who is, please reach out for help.

Military sexual trauma (MST) is a technical term that refers to the psychological trauma experienced by military service members, as a result of sexual assault or sexual harassment, as classified by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience an array of overwhelming and intense feelings. These may include feelings of fear, guilt, and shame.


 

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What do I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?

Take steps right away if you’ve been sexually assaulted.

  • Get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can. Then call 911 or the police.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust. You also can call a crisis center  (FOCUS 307-746-3630) or a hotline to talk with a counselor. One hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. It is important to get counseling from a trusted professional.
  • Do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body.
  • Do not change clothes if possible, so the hospital staff can collect evidence.
  • Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or pregnancy. The doctor will collect evidence using a rape kit for fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
  • You or the hospital staff can call the police from the emergency room to file a report.
  • Ask the hospital staff about possible support groups you can attend right away.

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:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • FOCUS Newcastle, WY 307-746-3630 

There are many organizations and hotlines in every state and territory. These crisis centers and agencies work hard to stop assaults and help victims. You can find contact information for these organizations at http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence/state/. You also can obtain the numbers of shelters, counseling services, and legal assistance in your phone book.


How can I protect myself from being sexually assaulted?

There are things you can do to reduce your chances of being sexually assaulted. Follow these tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.

  • Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.
  • Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
  • Don’t let drugs or alcohol cloud your judgment.
  • Be assertive — don’t let anyone violate your space.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave.
  • Don’t prop open self-locking doors.
  • Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
  • Watch your keys. Don’t lend them. Don’t leave them. Don’t lose them. And don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
  • Watch out for unwanted visitors. Know who’s on the other side of the door before you open it.
  • Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
  • Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
  • Have your key ready to use before you reach the door — home, car, or work.
  • Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.
  • Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.
  • Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.
  • Keep your car in good shape with plenty of gas in the tank.
  • In case of car trouble, call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors, and put a banner in the rear mirror that says, “Help. Call police.”

How can I help someone who has been sexually assaulted?


Call FOCUS 307-746-3630

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.


More Information . . .

For more information on sexual assault, contact the National Women’s Health Information Center at 800-994-9662 or the following organizations:

Division of Violence Prevention, NCIPC, CDC, HHS
Phone: (770) 488-4362
Internet Address: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/dvp.htm

Office on Violence Against Women, OJP, DOJ
Phone: (800) 799-7233
Internet Address: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo

National Center for Victims of Crime
Phone: (800) 394-2255
Internet Address: http://www.ncvc.org

National Crime Prevention Council
Phone: (202) 466-6272
Internet Address: http://www.ncpc.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: (800) 799-SAFE
Internet Address: http://www.ndvh.org

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Phone: (877) 739-3895
Internet Address: http://www.nsvrc.org

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
Phone: (202) 544-1034
Internet Address: http://www.rainn.org

Source: http://www.4woman.gov/faq/sexual-assault.cfm


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