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"Like the torturer, the rapist is motivated by the urge to dominate, humiliate, and destroy his victim...He does so by using the most intimate acts available to humans -- sexual ones."
~ Helen Benedict ~

IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED


WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR PARTNER / EX PARTNER SEXUALLY ASSAULTS YOU?


"IPSV"="Intimate Partner Sexual Violence"



Important Links
What to Do if You Have Been Raped
Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Lines
Online Support from other survivors
To Prosecute?
First, you may have safety needs best catered for by a domestic violence service/women's refuge. Please see this page.

If you want to press charges, don’t shower, bathe or clean your teeth. While it is understandable you might want to wash, this leads to the loss of evidence. If you’re pressing charges, you’ll need to have a doctor do a rape-kit – that is the gathering of physical evidence that can be used in court. A rape crisis worker can explain the process to you. Please see this page for information about reporting partner rape and the courts. Here, also is a good article on reporting marital/partner rape for US women.

It is recommend that you go to a hospital to have any injuries tended to whether you’re pressing charges or not. STD issues may need attention. You won’t be required to disclose who raped you. The visit will be documented should you decide to press charges at a later date. Because post-rape treatment (or the rape-kit process if you’re reporting the rape) can feel humiliating and frightening, you can have a rape crisis worker and/or a good friend accompany you. In the USA, you may get access to a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who is specially trained.

You can ask for the morning-after pill to eradicate a possible conception if you wish. This can be taken up to 72 hours after the assault. Because of the personal philosophies of some doctors or nurses, they may not offer you the morning after pill, but you do have a right to have access to it – so do ask if you’re not offered it. If you don’t want to take the morning after pill, it’s most important that you know a rape-related pregnancy puts you under no obligation to remain with your partner or return to your ex-partner. Also, bear in mind that the morning-after pill is available over-the-counter in many places.

Try to find a practitioner or a place that has expertise in sexual assault so you’re not wounded by a health provider’s ignorance- for example, some doctors have told women that what happened isn't real rape and otherwise discouraged them from seeking help - or made inferences about their mental health. You don't need this. Rape crisis services may know a practitioner who is sensitive. Please get as much support as you can. You deserve it. Your journey will be made a little easier with people who are on your side. Rape crisis services are there for you to use (see this page). You can also join and post on Pandora's Aquarium, where there are many other survivors of partner rape who will support you.

Your self-care is most important at this time. Be very kind to yourself as you recover, and please remember that what has happened to you is important - you are important

Wishing you Healing and Strength.

Source: Easteal, P, and McOrmond-Plummer, L, Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for women sexually assaulted by male partners, Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne, 2006