"You are powerful, not because you weren't scared but because you went on so strongly despite the fear."
You are NOT alone, we are here to help.
Central Point Youth group member sharing her story
Central Point Founders Sotry
If it has been more than 5 days since your assault, please contact law enforcement in the city where the crime occurred to file a report.
Want To Report
If your sexual assault has occurred within the last 5 days, please review the following:
It is important to know that you have the legal right to have a [sexual assault]
Advocate present with you during any law enforcement interviews and hospital examinations. If you would like an advocate please inform law enforcement and/or medical staff. Our staff and volunteers are trained sexual assault advocates and crisis counselors who can respond with trauma-informed care.
Step 1: Evidence is Key
Try not to bathe, shower, brush your teeth, or go to the bathroom. This is important for preserving evidence [including DNA].
If possible, do not change your clothes. If you already have, put your clothes in a clean paper bag such as a grocery store bag (do NOT put in a plastic bag), and bring those clothes with you to the emergency room or to law enforcement. Clothes include any underwear/undergarments you may have been wearing.
You may choose to bring additional clothing to change into, but if you are not able to, RARCC advocates will provide sweatpants, t-shirts, and toiletries.
Step 2: Hospital and Law Enforcement
A forensic examination is approved by law enforcement and conducted by a trained forensic nurse. Please be advised, not all medical facilities perform the forensic exam; however, it is still advised that you go to your nearest Emergency Room to begin the process. Please note that all medical staff are mandated reporters and will involve law enforcement when there is a disclosure of sexual assault.
You can request a non-reporting exam; however, you will still have contact with law enforcement.
Step 3: Forensic Exam
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE EXAM?
The Forensic Nurse will ask you to sign a consent form in order to do the exam.
She will begin by asking you specific details of the sexual assault. This may feel embarrassing, but it is important for determining the different charges against the suspect(s) and where to collect evidence.
The clothing that was worn during the sexual assault may be collected by the police officer. If your clothes are taken while at the hospital, some will be provided by your rape crisis advocate.
Evidence collection will include: fingernail scrapings, swabbing mouth, hair samples, and the detection of any fluid left on the skin by using a black light, pelvic exam, picture of any bruising, blood tests for sexually transmitted disease, and possibly a baseline HIV test.
Medication will be provided for the prevention of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and pregnancy.
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
I have the right to refuse to consent to the exam, or to specific parts of the exam.
I have the right, at any time during the exam, to ask the nurse to stop or to give you a few minutes for yourself.
I have the right to have a rape crisis advocate or support person of my choice in the exam room.
I have the right to ask any questions about any part of the examination.
DO NOT Want to Report
Please know that for any cases involving children under 18 years of age, a legal guardian is required to report the incident to law enforcement. Any information that indicates activity regarding abuse or assault of a minor, by law, will have to be reported by our staff and/or advocates.
Whether or not you report, our sexual assault services are always available. Please call RARCC at 951-686-7273 to speak with an advocate to explore support options. This may include individual counseling, support group, advocacy, accompaniment, and referrals.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Brought to you by
Riverside Rape Crises Center