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Coalition For Family Harmony | Sexual Assault FAQ's
We provide direct services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; to educate the community regarding violence against women, children, and men; to prevent the cycle of violence.
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SEXUAL ASSAULT FAQ’S
Prevention • Intervention • Support • Education

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual touching by one person to another, without consent, under threat of force or fear. This also includes the inability to consent due to intoxication, unconsciousness, a disability, or being too young to consent. Sexual Assault includes:

 

  • Penetration of the victim’s body by any body part or foreign object, also known as rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Child molestation and incest
  • Unwanted sexual touching or fondling

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT?

Rape is defined as unwanted penetration, whether that is oral, anal, or vaginal. Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact, including fondling or molestation.

  • Penetration of the victim’s body by any body part or foreign object, also known as rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Child molestation and incest
  • Unwanted sexual touching or fondling

WHAT IS CONSENT?

Consent is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon sexual activity. If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if you are unconscious or asleep—you CANNOT consent to sex!

WHAT DOES CONSENT LOOK LIKE?

YES

 

  • YES! (Out loud! Enthusiastic!) No! (loud or quietly)
  • I like that! I guess…if you want me to.
  • Keep going! Can we slow down?
  • That feels good! I’m not ready for this.
  • I’m okay with this…but not okay with that. Pushing/turning away/nodding

 

NO

 

  • No! (loud or quietly)
  • I guess…if you want me to.
  • Can we slow down?
  • I’m not ready for this.
  • Pushing/turning away/nodding
  • Silence
  • Crying
  • Can you stop?
  • If you are unsure—ASK!!!

*NOTE: CONSENT CAN BE REVOKED/STOPPED AT ANYTIME!!*

HOW CAN I KEEP MY CHILDREN SAFE?

  • Have open COMMUNICATION. Reassure them they will be okay, they are not in trouble, and that it is NOT their FAULT!
  • EDUCATE them about good touch and bad touch.
  • BELIEVE THEM if they ever say someone touched them.
  • KNOW the name, address, and number of the people taking care of your children.
  • KNOW the SIGNS, such as changes in behavior, bed wetting, change in personal hygiene, or hypersexuality.

I HAVE NOWHERE TO GO, WHAT CAN I DO?

SOMEONE I KNOW HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED, WHAT CAN I DO?

There are many ways that you can help a friend or family member who has been a victim of rape or sexual violence:

 

  • BELIEVE your loved one.
  • LISTEN and ask what they need at the moment.
  • SUPPORT what your loved one decides to do—even if you don’t agree with their situation.
  • EMPOWER your loved one.
  • ENCOURAGE them to get support and report to law enforcement if they are willing, but do not pressure them.

MY SPOUSE/PARTNER FORCES ME TO PERFORM SEXUAL ACTS I DO NOT WANT.

Anytime a spouse/partner forces you to do any unwanted sexual acts, that is considered spousal/marital rape.

WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO ME?

The Coalition offers comprehensive counseling services to survivors of sexual assault and their non-offending family members. Our MFT Interns and trainees provide individual, family and group counseling services. We offer support groups for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Services include:

 

  • 10 FREE sessions of counseling for victims and non-offending family members.
  • Crisis intervention services
  • Advocacy
  • Support groups
  • Accompaniment to medical exam, law enforcement interview, and/ or accompaniment to court.
  • All sexual assault services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.

DOES SEXUAL ASSAULT HAVE TO BE REPORTED?

No. Adults may choose not to report to law enforcement. However, if a minor discloses sexual assault, a report MUST be made to law enforcement or Child Protective Services (CPS).

I’M HERE IN THE US ILLEGALLY, WHAT CAN I DO?

If you are/were a victim of sexual assault, but are/were here illegally, know you still have rights. You cannot be deported if you report sexual assault to law enforcement.

I HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED, WHAT DO I DO?

IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! YOU HAVE OPTIONS! YOU HAVE RIGHTS!

 

Survivor Rights

 

A survivor of sexual assault has the right to:

 

  • Report to law enforcement.
  • Choose not to report or report at a later time
  • Request an Advocate and a support person of your choice during the medical exam and interview process
  • Choose to participate in all or part of the medical exam and interview
  • A free Abbreviated Exam (exam with NO police report)

 

If you have been Sexually Assaulted:

 

  • Get to a safe place or call 9-1-1.
  • Do not shower, bathe, douche or change clothes.
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke, or brush your teeth.
  • Do not touch anything the perpetrator may have touched.
  • If you are in need of medical attention, please go to the nearest hospital or emergency room. Disclaimer: Hospitals, medical doctors, and nurses are mandated reporters in California, so a report will be made if you disclose you have been sexually assaulted. If you do NOT want to make a report, but still want to collect evidence, there is still another option. If you do not want to collect evidence and need medical attention, you may go to your primary doctor and get a wellness checkup.

 

Reporting Options

 

  1. Report to Law Enforcement
  • Reports can be made at any time and you can get a restraining order
  • Reports can be made anonymously
  1. Administrative Reporting (Reporting On-Campus/Title IX)
  • Process can vary from one educational institution to another
  1. Abbreviated Exam
  • Victims of sexual assault who do NOT want to file a police report, and may want to report later, have the right to a free forensic exam where a trained nurse can collect evidence. This exam is called an Abbreviated Exam. Call our 24-hour Bilingual Hotline 1.800.300.2181 and be connected to a Sexual Assault Counselor that can speak to you about your options.
  1. Choose not to Report. You have a choice to report or not.

*It is never too late to report. You can still report sexual assault even if time has passed!*