Rape and Sexual Assault

Young people need to receive information about rape and sexual assault. There is still a great deal of misunderstanding about this. Rape, sexual assault or the attempt to do either is a violent crime against an individual. It is not an act of passion. The rapist can be anyone-a neighbor, a date, a friend, a relative or a stranger.

If someone you know forces you to have sexual intercourse or other sexual contact against your will it is called acquaintance rape. When this happens in a date situation, it is also called date rape.

No one has the right to pressure or force anyone to have sex even if

  • his/her dinner or night out has been paid for
  • s/he has had sex before with this person
  • s/he flirts with the person
  • s/he agrees to have sex and then changes his/her mind

Reinforce your teen's sense that they have the right to say no to anyone who tries to touch them in any way that makes them uncomfortable. If a person will not leave them alone, they need to try to get away as soon as possible. If someone is raped, it is not his/her fault. S/he is the victim, not the criminal.

If someone is raped or sexually assaulted s/he needs to

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Call his/her parents or a trusted friend, or call the Rape Crisis Service.
  • Not shower, bathe, douche, wash hands, brush teeth, use the toilet, change clothes or eat or drink anything. As hard as it may be not to clean up, important evidence may be destroyed by doing any of these.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible to determine whether or not there are internal injuries. Also, there may be a need for follow-up medical care in case of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. The best place to go to is the hospital emergency room since the staff has been trained to help rape victims.
  • Try to remember or write down where it happened, when, what the person looked like, and what clothing was worn. This information will help in talking to the police.

The doctor can help involve the police if the victim wants to. Contacting the police may alleviate your fears and provide you with a sense of security. The decision to prosecute a criminal matter is between you, your parents or guardian, the police, and the District Attorney's office.

The victim of an assault needs to have people to talk with about feelings-people who will listen for as long as it takes. Support of family is important.

Here are some resources:

Rape Crisis Service, (800)638-5163, or TDD: (800)247-7273
Lifeline, (800)310-1160, or TDD: (585)275-2700
Police Emergency, 911

The emergency rooms of local hospitals provide services to rape victims:

Clifton Springs Hospital, (315)462-9561
F.F. Thompson Hospital, (585)396-6000
Genesee Hospital, (585)263-5400
Geneva General Hospital, (585)787-4000
Highland Hospital, (585)461-6880
Rochester General Hospital, (585)338-2300
Strong Hospital, (585)275-4550

For further information:

(800)310-1160 or TDD: (585)275-2700
Lifeline provides a variety of support and referral services including access to other agencies.

Rape and Abuse Crisis Service of the Finger Lakes
(315)781-1093 or Hotline: (800)247-7273
The agency provides a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, counseling, medical and legal assistance for people involved in rape or abuse.

Rushville Health Center
Provides medical, dental, outreach and rape and abuse crisis services to Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties.

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