Sexual assault is a crime that creates truama that can be long-lasting and it can happen to women, children and men. Agencies have advocates who can assist the victims and provide accompaniment to the forensic medical exam (FME). In Georgia, evidence can be collected and held by law enforcement for 12 months if the suspect has been identified, but adult victims do not want to proceed with prosecution immediately. Prosecuting sexual assault cases can be challenging any time and the delay may present more challenges. This is not being said to make victims feel guilty as it is not unusual for the victim to be cautious about getting the courts involved. It is just the reality.
If someone is raped by an acquaintance or during a date the identity of the suspect is known, but it can be difficult to call for help. If drugs or alcohol are involved it adds to the difficulty.
- Please Remember
- Rape is a crime
- A forensic medical exam is recommended to treat any injuries and to receive medications that treat
- sexually transmitted diseases.
- It is best if the exam is completed as soon as possible before taking a bath or shower.
- It may be helpful if a sexual assault advocate is with you during the exam
- Receiving information on sexual assault provides education on the crime
- April is also Child Abuse Awareness Month. If a child under the consent age of the State is sexually
- Law enforcement and a child protective agency will be notified
- A forensic medical exam is usually conducted if the assault was recent. Medical personnel will decide if it is a delayed report.
- Parents should pay attention to who is paying attention to their child
- If a child discloses inappropriate touching or rape to an adult it should be reported immediately. Adults should not question the child as it may create issues that will hinder prosecution. Only a person who is specifically trained should talk with the child and a forensic interview (FI) may be scheduled.
- If you were sexually assaulted, even if it has been years ago, please seek counseling if it is negatively impacting your life. The statutes of limitation may have run out according to state law, but there may also be current victims. Sexual predators continue to commit their crimes.
- Often victims feel guilty and take on the blame that belongs to the perpetrator. Please seek help. It was not your fault and you have the right to move forward in your life.