Statistics can vary, but on average, every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. Research indicates that more than half of all rapes of women occur before age 18. The following is a 5 step resource guide with links to free help if you or your loved ones are a victim of sexual assault.
RECOVERING FROM CRIME
STEP 1: Heal Your Injuries
While in the hospital, and when you are discharged, your injuries can be painful reminders of the crime. Remember; be patient and easy on yourself. Give yourself credit for each small accomplishment. Ask your doctors questions about your health care. Most important, remember you are not at fault.
STEP 2: Apply for Crime Victim Compensation
You may be eligible for compensation for crime related medical and mental health costs and for lost wages. It is crucial that you cooperate with the police, prosecutors, and crime victim compensation authorities in order to get this financial assistance. Remember to fill out your paperwork on time. If your request for compensation is denied, you may appeal the decision.
STEP 3: Understand Your Rights
• You have the right to protection from intimidation, harassment, and harm. If you feel threatened, call the police immediately.
• You have the right to be informed about your case, including being informed of bail, prison release and trial or hearing dates.
• You have the right to be present during bond hearings and trials.
• You have the right to comment on plea bargains.
Criminal Justice Terms You May Hear
Grand Jury – a panel of individuals who recommend whether to hold a trial based on the evidence.
Indictment – charges brought against a perpetrator after a grand jury hearing.
Bond Hearing – determines whether and how much bail should be set.
STEP 4: Recognize Your Feelings
After a crime, you may experience:
• Fear, anxiety, nervousness, jumpiness, trembling.
• Sweating, racing heart, shortness of breath.
• Nightmares and upsetting thoughts.
• Avoidance and withdrawing from life and others.
Remember, these are normal feelings to have after a traumatic event.
STEP 5: Deal With Your Feelings
Here are some things you can do about these negative feelings and emotions:
• Do not avoid situations just because of fear and anxiety.
• Try to go out or do things with others. Go back to work if possible.
• Fight urges to use drugs or alcohol to calm down or feel better—pay attention to people and places that trigger these urges and stay away from them.
• Keep busy. Your best weapon against becoming sad or depressed is keeping active.
• Make yourself get out of bed in the morning.
• Plan your day the night before.
• Ask others for help. They are there for you.
• Begin some type of self defense training and preparation. By taking positive action you will gain control and decrease your anxiety.
AGENCIES THAT HERE TO HELP YOU:
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Information for victims on safety planning, violence at the workplace, internet safety, and identity theft.
National Organization for Victim Assistance
Information on victimization, trauma, and how to find help. Specific information on crime
victims with disabilities, elderly victims, and domestic violence. Criminal justice system
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Articles and other materials about sexual
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Disclaimer: This information regarding Self Defense Law is provided for discussion purposes only. It is not intended, nor shall it be construed, as legal advice. If necessary, consult a qualified attorney. This information is generally applicable to United States law. Before you apply your self-defense knowledge, get to know the law in your state.The last thing anyone wants to consider after being involved in a violent encounter are legal ramifications that could implicate you into heavy fines or even trial