- What is Sexual Assault?
- What is consent and how do I give consent?
- What do I do if I have been sexually assaulted or I think I have been sexually assaulted?
- What if I don’t feel comfortable calling 911 or going to the hospital?
- Are there other resources available for me if I have been sexually assaulted?
- The Law
What is Sexual Assault?
Any sexual contact that you do not consent (or agree) to is sexual assault. Sexual assault does not have to include intercourse, or sex. Sexual assault can include any contact with private body parts such as the penis, vagina, breasts, and buttocks. This includes contact that happens over your clothes, that you don’t want, don’t agree to, or are forced to do. Sexual assault also includes certain acts that don’t involve you being touched, such as someone exposing their private body parts in front of you such as their penis, vagina, breasts. If you are unsure if something is sexual assault, you should talk with any trusted adult about what happened or what is happening, especially your doctor, case manager, or guardian ad litem.
SCRAPPY SAYS: It is never your fault if you are sexually assaulted.
What is consent and how do I give consent?
Consent must be given voluntarily, knowingly, and verbal consent (saying “yes”) is best. It is your decision to decide what, if any, sexual activity is right for you. Agreeing to sexual activity (saying yes or giving consent) means that you have freely decided to engage in that activity. Sometimes, you may feel forced to agree, and in that case you would not be freely consenting. If you feel pressured emotionally or physically, but still go along with the act because you feel you don’t have a choice, are afraid, or don’t know how to get out of the situation, you are not giving consent. It is important to know that someone under 18 cannot consent to sexual activity or sexual touching with an adult. Even if someone under 18 wanted to agree, or consent, to sexual activity with an adult, it is a serious crime for the adult to do so. It is never the child’s fault if they are sexually assaulted.
Call 911. Sexual assault is a serious crime and should be reported. Do not worry about getting into trouble. In these situations, your health and safety is most important.
What do I do if I have been sexually assaulted or I think I have been sexually assaulted?
Go to the hospital right away. Do not shower, go to the bathroom, or change your clothes before you go. The doctors at the hospital and the police need to examine you to see whether you are hurt and collect any evidence from your clothing and/or body during the medical exam.
What if I don’t feel comfortable calling 911 or going to the hospital?
You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline. When you call 800-656-HOPE(4673) you will get help from a trained staff member who can help you find a local health facility that can care for survivors of sexual assault. A trained staff member will be able to help you talk about what happened, answer basic medical questions you may have, help you understand the law, and give you information about local resources that can help you get better. You can also access 24/7 help online by visiting online.rainn.org and using their online chat.
Are there other resources available for me if I have been sexually assaulted?
Yes, the following resources are available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted:
Fla. Stat. sec. 39.01, Fla. Stat. sec. 794.05