Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault includes child sexual abuse, incest, sexual harassment, date rape, marital rape, or assault by a stranger. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or relationship to the offender.

I'm not sure what happened, but it bothers me. What can I do?
If you think you’ve been assaulted, but you’re not sure, consider calling an advocate to talk about your situation. Services are free and confidential. 

Bolton Refuge House 24 hour hotline: 1-800-252-HELP (Eau Claire 834-9578)
RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)  1-800-656-HOPE

What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
· Get to a safe place, away from the perpetrator.

· Preserve evidence. As difficult as it may seem, don’t bathe or brush your teeth. 

· Call for support. You may wish to call a friend or a supportive family member, and you may always call one of the numbers listed above for an advocate’s support. 

· Seek medical attention. Sexual assault often leaves injuries that you may not notice at first, and you may be exposed to STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) or pregnancy. A medical professional can assess your risk, and help you decide on appropriate action. A specially trained practitioner can also conduct a forensic exam, in which evidence is preserved. In Eau Claire, the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program is located at Sacred Heart Hospital. You can reach a SANE nurse through the emergency room or by calling 715-839-4222.

· Consider reporting the assault to law enforcement. An advocate can help explain the process, and offer support. Remember that what happened to you is a crime. Law enforcement can investigate, preserve evidence, and help keep you safe. Emergency services in most parts of West Central Wisconsin can be accessed by dialing 911.

· Know that it isn’t your fault that you were assaulted. Even if you were drinking. Even if you agreed to some contact, but not to sex. Even if you said yes last week, or with someone else. You do not deserve to be assaulted or abused. 

· Remember that healing takes time. Even if you were assaulted years ago, an advocate can help you take steps toward healing the emotional wounds of rape.