Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault and is usually defined as any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact by one person against another. It may involve force, intimidation, manipulation or coercion.
Local Services for Survivors
If you have been sexually assaulted and are seeking help and information there are several Rape Crisis Centers in the area that provide free and confidential services, including counseling. Those services include:
- A 24 hour crisis hotline
- Crisis Intervention
- Hospital advocacy and escort
- Law enforcement advocacy and escort
- Legal advocacy and court escort
The local sexual assault centers include:
|Dallas County Rape Crisis at Parkland Hospital||214-590-0430|
|Dallas Area Rape Crisis||972-641-RAPE|
|Denton County Rape Crisis – Friends of the Family, 24 Hour Crisis Line||800-572-4031|
|Collin County Rape Crisis – The Turning Point||800-886-7273|
Survivors of sexual assault may experience emotional reactions such as guilt, anger, confusion, fear, shame, depression, rage. Victims may feel guilty because they think they didn't say no forcefully enough or fight the attacker. They may believe they allowed the offense to happen. They may experience anger against loved ones or acquaintances or act out in their anguish after the event.
Victims often fear that the attacker will return and may experience difficulties sleeping and eating, may fear being alone and may find it difficult to resume normal sexual relations. Other common stress reactions include difficulty concentrating and in making decisions.
We all cope with traumatic events in our own way. So if you feel like crying it's ok. It is normal to respond to a traumatic event with strong emotional reactions. These reactions may last for a few days, a few weeks or even months. This is not a sign of weakness or mental instability.
It is the sign that a normal person is having a normal reaction to a very abnormal event.
Reporting Sexual Assault
You are not required to make a report. You can decide what is right for you. But whether you report or not, you can receive free and confidential services from local sexual assault programs.
|Am I required to report that I have been sexually assaulted? Must I cooperate with Law Enforcement?||You do not have to make a report, but you may need and want the services of your local sexual assault program. The hospital will still call the police, but you can tell the Officer you do not want a Police report filed. You can still receive services and a forensic exam. If you elect not to cooperate with law enforcement, it may impact your eligibility for Crime Victims’ Compensation. (CCP 56.065)|
|Why should I report a sexual assault?||It is normal to feel humiliated and reluctant to make a Police report after a sexual assault. Some victims wait before reporting. Others in the community may also have suffered at the hands of the rapist and your report may help catch the suspect. And to qualify for Crime Victims’ Compensation, you have to report as soon as you can.|
|What happens when I make a report?||An Officer will take your statement and make a report. You may be asked to go to the hospital to allow a doctor or specially trained nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) to assess your injuries and to gather evidence of the assault.|
|Will the suspect be arrested?||The Officer’s report may be given to a Detective and a case may be sent to the District Attorney’s Office. If the investigation shows that an arrest is needed, the suspect will be arrested. The District Attorney’s Office will then handle the case.|
|Do I have to go to the hospital?||Seeking medical attention after a sexual assault can help with treatment of any injuries, can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and can help you avoid pregnancy if that is what you wish.|
|Does the Police Department pay for my hospital bills?||The Police Department only pays for the Sexual Assault Exam which is one part of the hospital visit. This is not the same as your hospital bill. The total hospital bill may include treatment of injuries and follow up treatment, as well as the cost of being in the Emergency Room. Those costs will be up to you and/or your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, Crime Victims’ Compensation can also help you with the costs of treatment. (CCP 56.06)|