MYTH: “It was not sexual assault because he/she is my spouse or partner.”
FACT: Anytime you are forced to have sex by anyone against your wishes, it is sexual assault.
MYTH: “It was my fault because I was walking at night.”, “It was my fault because I wore revealing clothing.”, “It was my fault because I was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
FACT: Nobody asks or deserves to be sexually assaulted. Only the offender is to blame for their actions.
MYTH: “I have to be strong and silent.”
FACT: You are not alone. You have the right to share feelings and not be isolated from others.
MYTH: “I am unpure and undesirable because I have been sexually assaulted.”
FACT: What happened to you was not your fault. Every person has the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion.
MYTH: “I can’t say no or change my mind because I already said yes.”
FACT: Everyone has the right to change their mind when it is involving their own body and well-being.
MYTH: “I can’t seek help because my community will find out, or I will be rejected and alone, or I will be deported, or I will lose my job, or I haven’t anywhere to go.
FACT: We understand the risks you feel you are taking. We take confidentiality seriously. You can come to us if you are being hurt or have been hurt in the past. If you have talked to others but are still feeling distressed, we are here to support you. Contact us at http://www.vsob.org or call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, always free and confidential at (432)263-3312.
You have the right….
- to be free from violence.
- to have physical and emotional well-being.
- to be listened to and taken seriously.
- to say “NO” without feeling guilty.
- to choose to change the situation or get help
You are not alone. There is help.
If you have been sexually assaulted…
Contact Victim Services of Big Spring for help and information.
Immigration status does not affect your ability to get services. We provide accompaniment to the hospital and police. Our services are free and confidential.
- Get to safety and if you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- If it is possible, preserve evidence by saving your clothes, not washing your hands, not brushing your teeth, and/or not showering.
- Call Victim Services, law enforcement, or someone you trust.
- If needed, get medical help as soon as possible. Ask for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) examine. Getting a medical exam does not mean you are making a police report.
- Preventative medication for sexually transmitted infections (STDs) may be offered.
- Emergency contraception should be taken with 3-5 days for unwanted pregnancy.
If someone you know has been sexually assaulted…
- Don’t judge or question the situation. Often, survivors have a hard time talking about their experience because they fear judgment.
- Listen if they want to talk and let them express their feelings without interruption.
- Don’t force them to talk if they don’t want to. Remind them that you are there for them when they wish to share what happened. And, keep their confidentiality.
- Offer to help them report the assault, but let the survivor make their own decisions. This gives them back control of their own life.
- Provide or help them find shelter if they feel their personal safety is at risk.
- Give them Victim Services contact information and encourage them to talk to an advocte when they are ready.
When you are ready…
…regardless of how long ago it happened, you may still make the choice to seek services. Sometimes we may feel alone or in a situation where the hurting does not stop. We, at Victim Services, are here to support families and individuals, including women, men, children, and LGBTQ survivors. Victim Services can provide information, options, and services. All of our services are free.
- A confidential hotline answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Walk-in services available during office hours Monday-Friday from 8 am-4 pm. If you need immediate assistance, please notify us to expect your arrival by calling (432)263-3312.
- Accompaniment to appointments with hospitals, law enforcement offices, prosecutor’s office, and courts.
- Referrals to other support services.
There is no right or wrong way to respond to sexual assault.
Sexual assault can have long-term effects on your physical, emotional, and spiritual health as wel as the relationships you have with others. You could be experiencing:
- Problems sleeping
- Change in eating habits
- Thoughts of hurting yourself
For assistance, contact us at http://www.vsob.org or call us (432)263-3312.