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If A Friend Has Been Sexually Assaulted
Always start by believing. We know that less than 8% of rape reports are false, and many studies put it at closer to 2%, this means the vast majority of victims are telling the truth. One of the biggest fears for many victims is not being believed.
Make sure you’re in a safe place. The majority of rapes happen in victim’s homes, apartments or dorm rooms. Make sure you and the victim are in a safe location away from the abuser.
Let them know that it’s not their fault. Victims often blame themselves because society tells us a lot of like about “Real Rape”. Guilt and blame can add to the physical, emotional, and mental damage of rape.
Direct the victim to the nearest Sexual Assault or Rape Crisis Center for support, information and help. Someone from the center can go with the victim to the hospital or to report to authorities.
They can go to the hospital and have evidence collected, any injuries treated, and get emergency contraception. After 72 hours there may be less evidence to collect, but it is best to always encourage a victim to get a rape kit done no matter how long ago it happened.
Rape kit exams are FREE, and the hospital does not have to call the police unless the victim wants them to.
You can always ask for an advocate to be with you for the exam.
Evidence Can Be Preserved By
Not showering, bathing or washing hands
Not eating, drinking or brushing teeth
Not combing hair or cleaning under nails
Not going to the bathroom. This is especially important if drugs may have been used.
Not changing clothes. If you do change, put all of the clothes into PAPER BAGS to take to the hospital.
Try to recall details of the event and the attacker's appearance, height, clothing, words, etc. It may help to write it out.
TN Domestic Violence Hotline