Sexual Assault

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact made by another person. You may not agree to the contact, or you may agree to it because you are pressured, forced, or threatened. Sexual assault can include touching your genital areas (vagina or penis), or rape. Rape is when a man's penis enters the vagina of a female, or the anus or mouth of a male or female. Sexual assault is not your fault. The attacker is always at fault.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: These help prevent sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria. These medicines can help prevent gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Take them as directed.

  • HIV prevention medicines: These help prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. These medicines must be taken for up to 28 days. You must not miss any doses.

  • Emergency contraceptive medicine: These help prevent pregnancy. Take them as directed.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider within 1 to 2 weeks:

You may need to return to have tests to see if you are pregnant or have an STI, such as syphilis or HIV. If you received a hepatitis B vaccine after your assault, you will need follow-up doses. You will need the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first dose. You will need the third dose 4 to 6 months after the first dose. You need all 3 doses for the vaccine to work. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Seek support or counseling:

It may take time to heal from the emotional harm from a sexual assault. It is common to have many feelings, including fear, anxiety, or anger. It may help to find someone to help you work through these feelings. Ask for resources and therapists that work with sexual assault survivors in your area. It may help if you can stay with a family member or friend, or have them stay with you for a few days.

For support and more information:

  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
    2000 L Street NW
    Washington , DC 20036
    2000 L Street NW
    Washington , DC 20036
    Phone: 1- 1800 - 656- 4673
    Web Address: http://www.rainn.org/

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have pain in your abdomen or pelvic area.

  • You have vaginal discharge that is different from normal.

  • You have fatigue, a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes (glands in your neck), and a rash.

  • You are taking medicines and cannot stop vomiting.

  • You feel very sad and think you cannot cope with what happened to you.

  • You think you are pregnant.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have thoughts of harming yourself.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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