Sexual Assault

 140310 - purple teal ribbon dasa close cropConsent

Consent is essential in all healthy sexual interactions. It is important to understand what consent is, as well as what consent looks like. This fact sheet will provide information, tips and resources about consent.

What is consent? Consent is permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. When sex is consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Non-consensual sex, or sex without someone’s agreement or permission, is sexual assault. Some important things to know about consent:

Drugs and alcohol blur consent. Drugs and alcohol impact decision making. When drugs and alcohol are involved, clear consent cannot be obtained. In many states, an intoxicated person cannot legally give consent.

Consent needs to be clear. Consent is more than not hearing the word “no.” A partner saying nothing is not the same as a partner saying “yes.” Don’t rely on body language, past sexual interactions or any other non-verbal cues. Never assume you have consent. Always be sure you have consent.

Things to Think About

·        You have the right to set limits.

·        Communicate your limits clearly. Set boundaries.

·        Trust yourself. If a situation doesn’t feel right, get out!

·        Do not condone sex-role stereotypes. Do not tell jokes or send/forward emails, texts or any social media that promotes this attitude.

·        Speak up when you hear others joke or talk about their sexual conquests. Let others know where you stand.

·        Drugs and alcohol impair your ability to take care of yourself and make healthy decisions. Use the buddy system to help keep you safe.

·        Remember: No is Never Wrong, It’s Your Right.

What to do After an Assault

· Get to a safe place and call the police, a friend, family member or SAFE HAVEN at (715) 526-3421 or 1-888-303-3421.

· SAFE HAVEN support services are confidential and free of charge (except the IMPACT group).

· Do not shower, bathe or wash any of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault.

· Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred. It is important to preserve all physical evidence for court use. This will leave your options open if you are not sure whether you want to report the assault to law enforcement.

· Go to a hospital emergency room for medical care. A nurse called a SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) will be called to examine you (See SANE Programming).

· An Advocate will be available at the hospital. It’s okay to need support during this time.

· If you do not report to law enforcement immediately, write down all the details of the assault and save them in case you decide to report the assault later.

· If criminal charges are issued against the offender, the district attorney’s office will handle the case. The victim is not responsible for the legal fees.