Sexual violence can affect anyone.
It is estimated that in the United States, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men report experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Over 80 percent of the time, the victim/survivor knows the offender (National Institute of Justice). Survivors of sexual abuse may experience a variety of physical and emotional responses following the abuse.
Common reactions to an assault include numbness, denial, confusion, anger, disbelief, and fear. A survivor may alter her or his sleeping or eating habits, desire a change in her or his daily routine, or feel a need to get back to normal. These are just a few of the coping skills that survivors might use; there is no right or wrong way for someone who has been sexually assaulted to act. Remember, sexual violence is never a victim’s fault.
If you have recently experienced a sexual assault
If you have recently experienced a sexual assault, the choices about what to do are up to you. You may want to have an evidentiary examination at a local hospital. This examination preserves evidence should you decide to file a police report. This is also a time when you can get medical advice, treatment for any injuries, and medications for sexually transmitted diseases. The examination is paid for by the state, and you do not have to make a report to the police in order to have an exam. You may be offered or request emergency contraception (MAP or the Morning After Pill) if assault occurred within 72 hours.
You may be thinking about reporting an assault to the police. In Johnson County, you can tell a detective or police officer about what happened to you without having to make an immediate decision about whether or not you want police to press charges.
The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) offers a 24-hour crisis line, individual counseling, and support groups. All services are free and confidential. RVAP serves women and men survivors of any kind of sexual abuse, as well as their concerned friends, family, and partners. Advocates can also accompany survivors at the local hospitals or police stations.
The 24-hour Rape Crisis Line is 335-6000 or 1-800-228-1625.
The UI Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator serves as the contact person for UI students making formal complaints about sexual misconduct, stalking, and/or domestic violence. You can reach the UI Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, Monique DiCarlo, at 319-335-6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.