violence is, first and foremost, an act of violence, hatred
and aggression. Whether it is viewed clinically or legally,
violence is the common denominator. Like other acts of
violence (assault and battery, murder), there is a violation
of and injury to a victim. The injuries may be psychological
or physical. In acts of sexual violence, usually the injuries
Sexual assault is one of the most frequently committed violent crimes and its reported rate of incidence is steadily increasing. Statistics indicate one in every four adult women will be sexually assaulted at least once in her lifetime. Date and/or acquaintance rape accounts for over 50 percent of all rapes.
Statistics also indicate that one in four girls, and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18.
Sexual assault is a generic term that encompasses a continuum of sexual acts committed against a person's will. Acts can range from fondling the breasts and/or genitals to forced sexual intercourse, known as rape.
Date/acquaintance rape occurs when another person forces you to have unwanted sex, such as sexual touches, penetration, or forcing or tricking you into posing for sexually explicit photographs.
KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT RAPE
is a violent crime, a hostile attack, and an attempt to
hurt and humiliate a person. It is not the result of "uncontrolled
Rape can happen to anyone. Children, grandmothers, students, working women, mothers, and even males are the victims of rape.
Rape can occur anywhere
and at any time, in public or in your own home, day or
Rapists are not necessarily strangers. In fact, in over one third of the reported cases, the rapists is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend or relative of the victim. Statistics show that 80 percent of the assailants are known to the victim.
First, know the facts about rape. Become aware of locations and situations where rape might occur and avoid them.
Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist. Practice possible responses so that you can recall them under the stress of a real encounter.
alert to your surroundings and the people around you,
especially if you are in an area that is dark.
Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
confidently, directly, and at a steady pace. A rapist
looks for someone who appears to be vulnerable.
Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys, if possible. Walk where there are lights and people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk on the other side of the street.
in danger, scream and run, yell fire, or break a window
to attract attention.
Many rapes occur in or near the victim's home. One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is to practice good home security.
- Install effective locks on all doors and windows-and use them.
- Install a peephole viewer in your door. NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Require sales or repair people to show identification.
- If strangers telephone or come to your door, do
not admit that you are alone.
- If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
- If you come home and find a door or window open,
or signs of forced entry, do not go in. Go to the
nearest phone and call the police.
- Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your car.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Have your car keys in your hand so that you don't have to linger before entering your car. Keys can also serve as a possible weapon against an attacker.
- Check the backseat before entering your car.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a
public place or a police station.
- If your car breaks down, open the hood and attach
a white cloth to the car. If someone stops to
help, stay in your locked car and ask them to call
the police and a garage.
that your main concern must always be your safety. The
decision to fight back, submit, or resist depends on you
and the situation. However, your best defense is
to be prepared. Know your options ahead of time; your
safety may depend upon your ability to stay cool and calm.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF RAPE
Get help immediately. Call the police, sheriff, a rape crisis center, doctor, friend or relative.
not wash, douche, change clothes or clean up in any; valuable
evidence could be destroyed by doing so. Talk to
the police and go to the hospital first.
that you are the victim. You have nothing to feel guilty
or ashamed about.
AND FRIENDS: HOW TO HELP
After a rape, survivors may be openly upset, even hysterical, or they may be numb and seemingly calm. The victim needs to:
medical assistance for the victim. She may particularly
need medical attention in the first few days. She should
obtain STD testing, a pregnancy test, counseling and treatment
for her injuries.
her to feel safe. Rape is a traumatic violation of a person.
Stay with her, and find support people for her to turn
her know you believe her. With date rape especially,
victims need to be believed that what occurred is in fact,
a rape. This is a very important fact in recovery. Don't
blame her or agree with her if she blames herself. Even
if she made some bad decisions, no one asks to be raped.
her to take control of her life. When a person is raped,
she may feel completely out of control of what is happening
to her. A significant step on the road to recovery is
to regain a sense of control in little, as well as big
Give her choices to make and empower her.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP
do not judge. Accept her version of the facts and be supportive.
Do not ask how this happened and do not offer any explanation
for why this occurred.
Offer shelter. If it
is possible, stay with her or offer to let her stay with
Be available. She may
need to talk about her feelings. Be there as much as you
can, and encourage her either to call a hot line or seek
Give comfort. She needs to be nurtured. She needs to be reassured that the rapist is to blame; she is not.
Be patient and understanding. Encourage action. Respect her wishes.
RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
- Ventura County District Attorney's Crime Victims'
Assistance (805) 654-3622
- Interface (800) 339-9597
- Coalition (805) 983-6014
- Ventura Police Department (805) 339-4400
- Oxnard Police Department (805) 385-7600
- Camarillo Police Department (805) 388-5100
- Moorpark/Thousand Oaks Police Department (805) 494-8200
- Fillmore Police Department (805) 524-2233
- Ojai Police Department (805) 646-1414
- Port Hueneme Police Department (805) 986-6530
- Santa Paula Police Department (805) 933-4231
- Simi Valley Police Department (805) 583-6950
- PSSA- Public Social Services Agency (805) 654-3409
- Rape and Sexual Assault Treatment Services (805) 485-6114
- El Concilio Del Coronado De Ventura (805) 983-2336