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What to Do If You Are a Victim of Rape

Any type of forced sexual assault that you don't consent to is considered rape. It's a crime if the attacker is a stranger, if you know your attacker (85 percent of women do), if you're related to them, or even if they are your spouse. It's a crime even if you were drinking, doing drugs, given drugs, or too out of it to say no or fight back.

If you are the victim of a rape, here's what you should do:

  1. Get to a close, safe place.
  2. Immediately go to a hospital or ER. Don't shower or change your clothes. The doctor will examine you and collect evidence including pieces of hair, clothing fibers, saliva, and semen to be placed in a rape kit that may be later used by police or in a court of law.
  3. If you are using hormonal birth control or an IUC then pregnancy is not likely, but if you're not, the doctor may recommend you take emergency birth control (Plan B).
  4. Chances are that the rapist did not use a condom, so the doctor will most likely test you for STIs.
  5. Since being sexually assaulted can have huge emotional and psychological ramifications, a therapist may be recommended. It's a good idea to talk to someone about your experience to help you cope with the strong feelings of sadness, disbelief, fear, guilt, and anxiety you may have.

Unfortunately in this day and age, it's necessary for young women to know and talk about rape, so do your fellow females a favor and pass this important information onto the women in your life that you care about.

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