Sexual Assualt

Rape

Rape is a crime of power and control, not sex.  Rape is forcing someone to have sex against his or her will.  Both rapists and victims can come from all classes, races and backgrounds.  Anyone can be raped, and anyone can be a victim.

A person can be charged with sexual assault if they:

  • put their finger, penis, hand, tongue, or an object into your vagina, anus or mouth against your will, or
  • force you to put objects into your own vagina or anus, or
  • force you to perform or receive oral sex against your will.

A person can also be charged with a sexual assault offense if they even attempt to do these things.

What to do if you are raped:

  • Get medical help
  • Do not shower or change clothes before your exam
  • Do not eat or drink before your exam
  • Report rape to police
  • Do not clean up or change the area where the attack happened until after police have had a chance to collect evidence
  • Call Crisis Connection or an advocacy agency in your area for support and guidance

Feelings associated with rape:

•        Fear of being alone

•        Fear of crowds

•        Fear of men

•        Fear of strangers

•        Anger

•        Self-blame

•        Guilt

•        Depression

•        Mistrust in people

•        Embarrassment

•        Loss of self-confidence

•        Fear of others finding out

 If you are struggling with these issues, please speak to an advocate.

You may have endured the assault alone, but you do not have to recover alone.  You will heal faster and with fewer struggles if you have people in your life who:

  • can help comfort you when you are hurting
  • remind you of your progress when you feel discouraged
  • serve as reality checks when you feel confused
  • rejoice with you as you grow stronger
  • protect you from developing long-term negative reactions to the assault

Common reactions of family and friends

They may ask questions that show they don’t understand what it was like. They may seem to think you are somehow to blame. They may react in ways that reflect common myths about rape, because that’s all they know.

Even though most of them will try to be supportive and do their best to help, you may find what they do and say frustrating. They may put pressure on you to act or think in particular ways. They may:

  • urge you to report the rape before you’ve had a chance to think about it
  • see rape as a sex crime rather than as a crime of power and violence
  • blame you
  • blame themselves
  • think if they don’t talk about feelings the feelings will go away
  • push you into seeking help or hospitalization when you just need someone to understand how you feel
  • feel angry, or guilty, about what has happened
  • Feel powerless to help.
  • Decide to seek revenge on “your behalf”

It may help if you understand their feelings, but it’s not your responsibility to help them. Your family and friends can get support from each other or talk to a counselor about their feelings and needs. You’re the one who’s been sexually assaulted, and you need to focus your energies on yourself. You are the only person who knows what’s best for you. It’s up to you to choose who to tell, and what to tell. But it’s still important to have a support system you can turn to. Family and friends can often provide this. You are entitled to both support and the freedom to take your time and make your own decisions.

Drug Facilitated Rape

Drug facilitated rape can occur when a drug is slipped into someone’s drink, without that person’s knowledge. Nearly all of the drugs are odorless, tasteless, and colorless. They come in powder or liquid form. It only takes a rapist one second to slip something into a person’s drink without them knowing about it. Many times the rapist acts like the “good guy.” He says that he will take the victim home and take care of them since they do not feel well. The Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996 made it a crime to give any non-consenting individual a controlled substance with the intent of committing a violent act, including rape, against the individual.

The term ‘club drugs’ refers to a wide variety of drugs sometimes used at all-night dance parties (“raves”), clubs or concerts. They can damage the neurons in your brain, impairing your senses, memory, judgment, and coordination. They can cause a kind of amnesia – users may not remember what they said, what they did, or what was done to them while under the effects of the drug. Others can make you unconscious or immobilize you. Because club drugs are illegal and often produced in makeshift laboratories, it is impossible to know exactly what chemicals were used to produce them. High doses can cause severe breathing or brain problems, coma, or even death. Despite what you may have heard, club drugs can be addictive and the feelings users get won’t last. Mixing club drugs together or with alcohol is extremely dangerous. The effects of one drug can magnify the effects and risks of another.

If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, they may need help:

•        Memory problems

•        Seizures

•        Depression

•        Panic attacks

•        Rapid heartbeat

•        Loss of coordination

•        Dizziness

•        Fainting

•        Confusion

•        Dehydration

•        Slurred speech

•        Chills or Sweating

•        Muscle cramping

•        Sleep problems

 

Common Drug Types

  • Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant synthetically produced in clandestine labs. Color and even flavors are added to make them more appealing. “Yaba” tablets are a combination of methamphetamine and caffeine, are reddish-orange or green, and are stamped with a variety of logos, with ‘WY’ the most common.
  • Alcohol is the #1 date rape drug. Alcohol is the perfect drug for a rapist because it is generally accepted by society as an ‘excuse’ for unacceptable behavior. Many times, the victim is already willfully consuming alcohol. Alcohol causes many of the same symptoms other date rape drugs do, including unconsciousness and memory impairment. These are two things a rapist is looking for.
  • GHB was originally developed in Europe as an anesthetic. Alarmingly, recipes on how to make illicit drugs such as GHB are often found on the Internet, and many ingredients can be found in household cabinets. Sometimes, to make the drug go further, many makers add things like lye. Therefore, it is very uncertain what is or was in the drug. GHB can come in a white powder form or more typically in a clear liquid. It can be stored in eye drop bottles, water bottles, etc. GHB is often used with alcohol to enhance its effects. The onset of action is rapid and in an overdose, unconsciousness can occur after 15 minutes, and coma within 30 to 40 minutes and last two to four hours. The chemical is colorless and odorless and quickly leaves the body making it difficult to detect by emergency personnel.
  • Ecstasy reportedly quickens the pulse, tingles the spine and makes the users want to touch – and to be touched. For this reason, it is also known as the “hug drug.” Rave parties are the heart of the Ecstasy culture. Rave parties are generally known as ‘alcohol free’ environments because alcohol lessens Ecstasy’s effect. Typically, Ecstasy comes in a tablet form stamped with a logo of some sort making it look like candy. The ‘high’ from one pill can last 4-6 hours, causing a hallucinatory state, nervousness, dry mouth and dilated pupils. Since it has this hallucinatory effect, glow sticks and black lights are popular items with users. The drug also causes users to grind their teeth so many of them suck on pacifiers or sour lollipops to keep from doing so. Often these pacifiers and lollipops are laced with Ecstasy. Many young adults perceive Ecstasy as a ‘safe’ One serious side effect Ecstasy has is on serotonin levels. Serotonin regulates our moods and Ecstasy uses up all the users’ serotonin levels, which is particularly dangerous to an immature brain. This can also lead to increased aggression, impulsive behavior or depression. High doses can cause muscle breakdown, kidney failure, cardiovascular failure, liver damage, and paralysis. Recently, Viagra is being added to this drug and goes by the name ‘sextasy’ creating more of a sexual abuse problem. Doctors also warn of the increased risk of STD’s and AIDS.

Any mind-altering substance can be used as a date rape drug. Please be careful and remain alert to your surroundings to keep yourself safe.

Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse is the exploitation of a child by an adult, adolescent, or other child for their sexual pleasure.  Sexual abuse includes oral penetration, fondling, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, and use of pornography.  The abuse often begins with nonviolent acts, such as fondling.

Sexual abuse can affect a child in many ways.  A child may experience fear, hostility, guilt, shame, depression, low self-esteem, poor self-image, physical ailments, sexual disturbances, and poor social functioning. Please look over the list and make note if your child has any of the following:

  • Unexplained fears, nightmares or sleep disturbances.
  • Swift or baffling changes in personality (may withdraw or be clingy, have changes in their eating patterns).
  • An older child’s behaviors may revert back to infantile behaviors. Such as bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, toileting issues.
  • Sudden or unexplained fears of places or people.
  • Child may resist everyday activities such as bathing, toileting, and habitual activities.
  • Dreams or play may exhibit sexual or fear provoking images. Drawings and writings may reflect these images as well depending upon the age of the child.
  • Child may be safeguarding a secret for another adult and refuses to tell what the secret is about to a trusted adult.
  • Child may claim to have physical illness but not have any real symptoms of a physical illness. Stomachaches are a common stated illness.
  • Child may hint around to the need for a discussion about sex or sexuality.
  • Child’s vocabulary may change to use adult words to identify body parts. May engage in sexual-like play with their toys, other children or even adults.
  • Child may develop a particular relationship with a person and possibly receive unexplained gifts from that person.
  • Child may display self-harming behaviors such as: cutting, drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, being overtly sexual for their age, burning themselves or playing with fire, etc.
  • Child may develop STD’s, injuries or bruising that can not be easily explained, or pregnancy

Steps to Take

If you suspect or know your child has been abused:

  • Stay calm. Your reactions will influence your child’s disclosure.
  • Call Police or The Department of Child Services
  • Get medical help
  • Therapy for the child
  • Contact an advocacy service to assist you and your child

Indiana is a mandatory report state (IC 31-35-5-1) in regard to child abuse and neglect. If you suspect that your child has been abused, you are required to report the abuse to The Department of Child Services (DCS) and/or the State Police.

Sexual Harassment

You have been the victim of sexual harassment if you have experienced:

  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Offensive or graphic pictures;
  • Unwanted sexual jokes, comments, looks, or gestures;
  • Unwelcome advances, touches; or,
  • Intimidation or threats to job status or school grades

Sexual harassment is against the law in the State of Indiana. Sexual harassment can and does happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone.

How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers:

  • Do the unexpected: name the behavior. Whatever s/he has just done, say it directly to the harasser, and be very specific about your displeasure.
  • Hold the harasser accountable for his/her actions. Don’t make excuses for him/her and don’t pretend it didn’t really happen. Take charge of the encounter and let people know what s/he did. Silence protects harassers, visibility undermines them.
  • Make honest, direct statements. Speak the truth (no threats, no insults, no obscenities, no excuses). Be serious and direct with the harasser.
  • Demand that the harassment stop immediately.
  • Make it very clear that all people have the right to be free from sexual harassment. Your objecting to sexual harassment is a matter of your rights and principlesand the law.
  • The harasser’s behavior is his/her issue and responsibility. Say what you have to say, and repeat it very clearly if needed.
  • Respond at the appropriate level. As you speak, use strong, confident body language: good eye contact, head up, shoulders squared, and a strong and serious stance. Don’t smile. Any timidness can undermine your message.

Stick to YOUR agenda. Don’t respond to the harasser’s excuses or diversionary tactics. They are totally responsible for their behavior, NOT YOU!