Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
What is sexual assault and who is assaulted?
Sexual assault is when someone is forced, tricked, or pressured into any sexual contact. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, male or female. Most sexual assaults (78%) are acquaintance rapes, and 54% of victims are between the ages of 11 and 24 (From Rape in America: A Report to the Nation in 1992). Date rape is when sexual assault occurs on a date or in a dating relationship.
How can I prevent sexual assault, especially date rape?
- Communicate: Discuss your sexual limits before you get into a risky situation.
- Assert Yourself: Insist on being treated with respect and having your limits accepted.
- Stay Visible: Avoid secluded places, particularly if you've just met someone.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Keep a clear head.
Although many of these ideas may help someone feel safer, sexual assault is always a risk and may not be preventable.
How do sexual assault victims feel afterward?
Sexual assault is a violent crime, and victims often feel powerless and frightened. After the assault, victims may have many feelings and reactions, including shock, disbelief, guilt, shame, fear, questioning, sadness, and anger. Although rape victims often feel guilty and/or ashamed, it is important to remember that the rape was not the victim's fault.
What should I do if I have been sexually assaulted?
- Go to a safe place where you can be with friends or family and get support.
- Go to a hospital for a medical exam to check for and treat any injuries and/or sexually transmitted diseases, provide emergency pregnancy options, and collect and save evidence. Do not bathe, douche, shower, or change clothes before you go.
- Talk with a police officer or legal advocate to decide whether to file a report.
- Seek counseling to talk with a professional about the assault and your feelings.
How does kalamazoo county handle sexual assault?
The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office treats sexual assault as a serious crime. Whenever evidence allows, a criminal complaint will be filed and the perpetrator prosecuted. The Victim/Witness Unit plays an important part in assisting victims through the process.