What is rape?
- A violent and vicious crime of dominance and aggression against women, men, and children.
- An invasion and a terrifying experience for its victims.
- A sexual attack without the consent of the victim.
- The most unreported crimininal offense in the United States.
- A crime that can happen to anybody, anytime, anywhere.
If You are Raped...
- Report it to the police. This is not the same as prosecuting. You can decide later if you want to prosecute.
- Don't bathe or douche. This may be the first thing you want to do, but it could destroy valuable evidence.
- Seek medical attention immediately. It is possible to become pregnant or to contract a sexually transmitted disease. The hospital will advise you about this. The hospital will also treat any injuries and assist the police in collecting the evidence.
- Save your clothing. Take a change of clothing with you to the hospital. You may change your clothing, but don't wash it as you may destroy the evidence.
- Call someone you know you can trust and/or the Council Against Rape (CAR)at (334)286-5987.
After a Rape...
Rape is a frightening and humilating experience which can have an immense emotional impact upon its victim. Rape victims react in different ways. How they cope depends on their own personalities and what kind of support they get. It's important to take it one day at a time. Regaining control over your life is usually a slow process, so don't be afraid or embarrassed to continue to ask for help when you feel the need.
Immediately after the rape, most victims experience shock and disbelief. Later feelings turn to fear, anger, guild, distrust, helplessness, denial, and depression. Moving on to a new location is not uncommon for a rape victim. Many victims experience interrupted eating and sleeping patterns and many have difficulty in their sexual relationships.
It is important for a rape victim to be able to talk about these feelings and to understand that they are normal. If you would like to talk about your feelings contact a Council Against Rape crisis worker who will provide non-judgemental and confidential support. People contact the Council Against Rape who have been assaulted several hours or even several years before. The Council also provides support to family members.
The Council Against Rape
Is a service of Lighthouse Counseling Center, Inc. in Montgomery, AL
They have a 24-hour hotline which is operated by trained crisis workers (334)286-5987.
They offer emotional support to victims of rape and sexual assault as well as their families.
The Center has trained volunteers who can provide information about medical, police, and court procedures for the victim.
The Center has volunteers who will accompany the victim to the hospital, police station, or the court room.
The Center has back-up professional counselors when longterm counseling is indicated.
The services of the Center is free of charge and are always confidential.
If you would like to volunteer, call the Lighthouse Counseling Center at 286-5980.