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Types of Victimization:

Sexual violence is any forced, coerced or unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature whether by an acquaintance or stranger. Sexual violence ranges from unwanted touching to intercourse (rape). This includes: acts where force or the threat of force is used; having sex with a person who is incapacitated, unconscious, sleeping, or under the influence of an intoxicating substance; attempted rape and committing a sexual act on an under-aged person.

It’s important to know that:

  • Sexual violence is any sexual activity without a person’s consent.
  • Yes means yes, everything else means no.
  • Rape is a crime of power and domination.  
Intimate partner violence is a pattern of coercive control that one person exercises over another in an intimate or familiar relationship. The abuse occurs along a continuum from less harmful acts, such as yelling, to more harmful behaviors, such as physical harm. Types of abuse include: psychological, economic, physical and sexual. Intimate partner violence encompasses dating violence and domestic violence.

 

It’s important to know that:

  • Leaving a relationship is the most dangerous time for victims. 
  • Jealousy is not a sign of love.
  • Isolation is a form of control. 
Stalking is a pattern of acts and behaviors directed at a specific person that causes emotional distress and fear. Stalking includes unwanted contact such as following or showing up uninvited; receiving numerous unwanted calls, cards, gifts, e-mails or texts; and monitoring computer use.

 

It’s important to know that:

  • Stalking is often associated with other crimes such as rape and intimate partner violence. 
  • Someone knowing excessive information about you may be a sign of stalking.
  • Altering routes and schedules may enhance safety.

What should you do if you...

Have been sexually assaulted?

  • Go to a safe location. 
  • Seek medical care as soon as possible. Free forensic medical examinations are available up to 120 hours after the assault. 
  • If you suspect that you have been drugged, immediately inform medical personnel. 
  • Decide if you want to report the crime to the police. 
  • Try to preserve physical evidence. Do not shower, bathe, eat, drink or brush your teeth. Do not wash the clothing you were wearing when you were assaulted. Place the items in a paper bag. 
  • Speak with a victim advocate. They can provide emotional support, assistance and inform you of your rights and options — whether or not you decide to report the rape. 

Are experiencing partner violence?

  • If an argument is more than likely going to occur, avoid the bathroom, kitchen, and the bedroom. Instead, have it in a room that has access to an exit. 
  • Devise a code word that only a friend, neighbor and a family member know in case they need to contact the police. 
  • Think of ways to increase your financial independence such as saving for a rainy day, or opening a bank account in your name. 
  • Always have spare change with you at all times for emergency calls. 
  • Know the location to your nearest local domestic violence shelter. 
  • If you have to have a conversation with the abuser have it in a public place. 
  • Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or incidents involving the abuser. 

Are experiencing stalking/harassment?

  • Make an assertive statement to leave you alone. 
  • Be clear and brief. 
  • Maintain a detailed record of day, date, time and location of each encounter with the stalker. 
  • Do not engage in a lengthy conversation because you are afraid you may hurt their feelings. Stay firm after an assertive statement. 
  • Notify the police. 
  • Avoid being alone as much as possible or let someone know your whereabouts. 
  • Change your phone number. 
  • Vary your daily routine drive or take a different mode of transportation to get where you are going. 
  • Meet with a Victim Advocate to discuss and create a safety plan. 

Help is available!

A Victim Advocate is available 24 hours a day. Call the Crisis Helpline at (904) 620-1010.