Was I Sexually Assaulted?
Stephanie E. Grana—July 3, 2018
How to Know if What You Experienced Was Sexual Assault
Sometimes sexual assault is inescapable and obvious, such as in cases of rape or other violent attacks. However, when coercion occurs or there is an existing relationship between the victim and the assailant(s), it can be very confusing for victims and difficult to admit that they have suffered sexual assault.
To put it simply, sexual assault is any form of sexual contact with a non-consenting adult, a child, a disabled person, someone who is not in control of their faculties due to drugs, alcohol, or sleep, or any other form of coercion or force used to get someone to engage in unwanted sexual acts. This can be physical, visual, verbal, or otherwise. Forms of sexual assault include:
- Any sexual contact with a non-consenting person (including persons who are not able to provide their consent, a category which always includes children)
- Coercing someone to pose for sexually graphic pictures
- Persistent sexual harassment
- Threats of a sexual nature
- Rape or attempted rape
- Molestation, fondling, or other unwanted or inappropriate touching
What to Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
After experiencing sexual assault, it is imperative that you seek medical attention and find a safe place right away. Do not shower, bathe, change clothes, or otherwise change your appearance before seeking medical attention and asking a doctor to perform an HIV test, use emergency contraception, test you for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and treat your injuries.
It is very important that you ask a doctor to have a sexual assault forensic examiner or nurse use a rape kit to collect evidence. Also inform your doctor if you fear you may have been drugged or sedated.
Then, call the police and speak to law enforcement about the assault and provide as much information as you can about your attacker, the assault, and any other information that would help police find and punish the person who harmed you. Afterward, get in touch with a Richmond sexual assault lawyer right away.
Compassionate, Award-Winning Attorneys Representing Sexual Assault Victims Since 1979
If you have been sexually assaulted, our team at Breit Cantor Grana Buckner is prepared to be your advocate during this time. We understand that you need a strong legal representative, but we also understand that you need to be protected during this time. Whether you are taking an individual to court, suing a property owner for premises liability, or making any other sort of sexual assault claim, let us provide you with the effective representation and advocacy you need, both in and out of court.
For more than 26 years, Stephanie Grana has fought for individuals and families in Virginia suffering from catastrophic injury and wrongful death as a top Richmond personal injury lawyer. She has recovered more than 45 verdicts and settlements of over $1 million.