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 Sexual Assault






What is “sexual assault?”

Sexual assault is a crime of violence, power, and control. A person has been sexually assaulted when he or she has been forced, threatened, or coerced into sexual contact against his or her will.


Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault.


Types of Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault may take many forms, including rape or attempted rape, incest, child sexual assault, unwanted touching above or beneath clothes, indecent exposure.


Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault.


No one deserves or asks to be raped or sexually assaulted. What a person wears, how much they drink, where they choose to go, who they choose to hang out with, or how they act does not mean they want to participate in sexual activity. It is also not the victim’s fault if they are unable to consent because of alcohol, drugs, or disability.


There is no “typical” perpetrator. They are usually people the victims know– a partner, friend, family member, or acquaintance.


Remember: Every sexual assault situation is different. Never feel guilty about what you did– or did not– decide to do. You did the right thing at the time to survive

  • Most female victims of rape experience their first rape before the age of 25 and over half before they are 18. 1

  • More than 25 percent of male victims were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger. 1

  • There is an average of 293,066 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year- that is one every 107 second. 1

  • Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance. Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner.1

Physical/Emotional Effects:


People react and cope in different ways to the trauma caused by sexual assault. The emotions you may be experiencing are normal.


  • Shock/denial

  • Irritability/anger/anxiety

  • Depression

  • Social withdrawal

  • Sense of worthlessness, helplessness, or loss of control

  • Numbing/apathy

  • Restricted affect (reduced ability to express emotions)

  • Nightmares/flashbacks

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Loss of interest in sex

  • Loss of self-esteem

  • Loss of security/loss of trust in others

  • Guilt/shame/embarrassment

  • Impaired memory

  • Changing in eating habits

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Muscle tension/headaches

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Safety Planning:


Things to think about….

  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, leave the situation and go to a safe place.


  • Be aware of your surroundings.


  • Be aware of your daily routine and try to frequently change it up.


  • Keep your cell phone with you and charged at all times w/ important numbers saved.


  • Carry a small noise maker (whistle)


  • Who can help (friends, family).


  • Where to go (shelter, the police, relative or friend’s house).

For more information about Sexual Assault visit these national sites:

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network

If You are Sexually Assaulted


  • Get to a safe place.

  • Call 911 or your local rape crisis center and consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible.   

  • Adults can receive medical attention with or without making a police report about the crime.

  • Even if you decide not to report the crime right away, a sexual assault examination will preserve any evidence in case you decide to later on. It will also address any concerns involving STD’s and/or pregnancy.

  • Don’t shower or clean any part of your body, brush your teeth,  or change your clothes. This may be hard, but doing any of these things could destroy any medical evidence.

  • The state of Wyoming will pay for the cost of the sexual assault examination provided by the hospital or medical clinic.

  • All contact with the medical personnel, police, etc. are 100% confidential.

Healing from Sexual Assault


  • Reach out to family, friends, health care providers, a counselor, etc. for emotional support.


  • Reach out to a Crisis Center– In Wyoming, every county has an advocate that can help you sort out what you’re feeling, talk to you about your options, and provide emotional support. If you choose to report the crime to the police, they can help you navigate confusing documents and assist you through the court process.


  • While reporting the assault and having the exam may be diffucult some say  it helps start a process to regaining a sense of control.


  • Make self-care a priority.

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