What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any sexual act performed without the consent of the individual and is forced against his or her will. Sexual assault is primarily a form of sexual violence including rape (forceful penetration of the vagina, anus, and mouth) or other sexual offenses like groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse or torture of an individual in a sexual manner. Sexual assault is the act which is carried out without the consent of the victim. Unfortunately, it is a fact that sexual assault knows no limits. It could happen to anyone at any age, men, women or children. It is crucial for the wellbeing of the victim to receive the right advice and support to overcome such a sensation of being violated to move forward in life.
Sexual assault referral centers (SARCs)
SARCs or sexual assault referral centers offer medical, practical and the right emotional help needed by victims. These professional centers have trained nurses, doctors, and support workers. If you wish or decide to file a complaint with the law authorities, you can after attending a SARC medical and forensic examination for case purposes.
Supporting a victim of sexual assault
Experts in the respective fields of medical and support services have devised advice meant for those relatives and individuals who have been victims of such harsh crimes.
- Do not judge or blame the victim as sexual assault is never the fault of the person who suffers abuse.
- Listen to the person abused, but do not go into the details directly without comforting them as it could make them feel as if they are being blamed and pointed at. Avoid from asking questions such as, why didn’t you try to stop them?
- Offer them efficient services whenever and whatever they require such as going with them to appointments with doctors and therapists or clinics.
- Bear in mind the fact that these individuals have just suffered severe physical and emotional trauma. So they not want to be touched immediately, even by you. So ask them first before you go and hug them. If you are indulging in a sexual relationship with that individual, do not pressurize them into sex as it could be very frightening for them without the necessary support.
- Do not tell them to forget about the trauma, as cases of sexual assault cannot be overlooked just like that. It will take time for the victims to deal with their emotion and feelings. You can offer help by contacting the nearest rape and sexual assault services including SARCs.