Since the launch of Made in His Image, we have received thousands of emails. Some of the most heart wrenching to read involve the following. I was abused, can you please help me? I don’t know what to do and I feel like abuse is all I’m good for. My boyfriend/father is abusive, how do I get out? I was raped/sexually abused, what do I do now? I feel gross all the time after the abuse, can you help me? What happens after a sexually assault? What do I do?
Should I Report My Attack to the Police?
We hope you will decide to report your attack to the police. While there’s no way to change what happened to you, you can seek justice while helping to stop it from happening to someone else. Reporting to the police is the key to preventing sexual assault: every time we lock up a rapist, we’re preventing him or her from committing another attack. It’s the most effective tool that exists to prevent future rapes. In the end, though, whether or not to report is your decision to make.
How do I report the rape to police?
Call 911 (or ask a friend to call) to report your rape to police. Or, visit a hospital emergency room or your own doctor and ask them to call the police for you. If you visit the emergency room and tell the nurse you have been raped, the hospital will generally perform a sexual assault forensic examination. This involves collecting evidence of the attack, such as hairs, fluids and fibers, and preserving the evidence for forensic analysis. In most areas, the local rape crisis center can provide someone to accompany you, if you wish. Call 1.800.656.HOPE to contact the center in your area.
Can I report to police even if I have no physical injuries?
Yes. In fact, most rapes do not result in physical injuries. So, the lack of such injuries should not deter you from reporting.
The rapist got scared away before finishing the attack. Can I still report it?
Yes. Attempted rape is still a serious crime and should be reported.
I knew the person who raped me and invited him/her in. Can I still report it?
Yes. About 2/3 of victims know their attacker. And the fact that you were voluntarily together, or even invited him/her home with you, does not change anything. Rape is a serious crime, no matter what the circumstances.
I’m afraid that my actions will be scrutinized and I’ll have to testify about intimate details of my personal life.
Many successful prosecutions end in a plea agreement, without trial, which means that the victim will not have to testify. However if your case does go to trial, you will generally have to testify. Although there are no guarantees, prosecutors have legal tools they can use to protect you in court. One tool is called a rape shield law, which limits what the defense can ask you about your prior sexual history. The prosecutor can also file legal motions to try to protect you from having to disclose personal information
If you are worried about having to testify about intimate matters such as your own sexual history, let the police or prosecutor know about your concerns. They can explain the laws in your state and help you understand what might happen if you do go to trial.
For these and other questions, please read the complete article by clicking HERE. And please don’t hesitate to contact MIHI for further help. We exists to serve YOU!