Sexual Assault

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The Facts about Sexual Assault

 

The Victim:

    Sexual assault can happen to Anyone, Anywhere, at Any time!

 

The Suspect:

    The typical stereotype of a sexual assault suspect is a sex-crazed maniac or psychopath. In reality, people who sexually assault are not always strangers to their victims. In more that one-third of reported cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend, or relative.

 

The Crime:

    Although sexual conduct is a component of this crime, suspects mainly want to hurt, humiliate and degrade another human being. Regardless of the sexual nature or the crime, it is a crime of violence!

 

How can it happen?

     "When a salesman knocked on the door, I let him in. He was 
friendly at first, then all of a sudden he grabbed me..."

     "I was downstairs in the laundry room of our apartment building. I had been there alone many times before, but this time..."

     "I was walking to work in broad daylight. A car stopped next to me. The driver leaned over and asked for directions. When I got close to the car, he pulled a gun and told me to get in..."

    These simple examples show that the tragedy of sexual assault can strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

 

Reduce Your Risk

 

What Should You Do To Prevent Sexual Assault?

  •      Always be aware of your surroundings.

  •      Stay in well lit areas as much as possible.

  •      Walk confidently, directly, at a steady pace. A rapist looks 
         for someone who appears vulnerable.

  •      Walk on the side of the street facing traffic.

  •      Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and
         alleys where rapists can hide.

  •      If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas 
         where there are people and lights.

  •      If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the
         opposite direction or walk on the other side of the street.

  •      Be careful when people stop you for directions or money.
         Always reply from a distance and never get too close to 
         the car.

  •      If you are in trouble or feel you are in danger, don't be 
         afraid to attract help any way you can. Scream, yell or run 
         away to safety.

  •      Always lock your car. Keep your car locked when you are 
         away from it to keep someone from hiding and waiting inside.
         When you are inside the car, lock the doors for safety.

  •      Look inside and around your car before you get in.

  •      Be aware of other people in parking areas, especially those
         close to your vehicle.

  •      If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place 
         or a police station to get help.

  •      If your car breaks down, open the hood or attach a white 
         cloth to the antenna. If someone stops to help, stay inside
         your locked vehicle and ask them to call the police.

     If you choose to carry any type of weapon for self protection, give careful consideration to your ability and willingness to use it. Remember there is always the chance that it could be taken away and used against you.

 

What Should You Do If You're a Victim?

    Seek help immediately!!! If you are injured, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance or go to a hospital emergency room. An important thing to remember is that you should not touch anything, change your clothes, wash, bathe, or shower until you have been to the hospital and contacted the police and the prosecutor to identify, arrest and convict your attacker.

    The emotional impact of a sexual assault is great and both medical professionals and law enforcement officers know this. It will be difficult for you to confide in strangers about what has happened to you. Every effort is made to have family members, friends, clergy or anyone you want present to provide support during this difficult time.

 

The Child Victim

    Each year thousands of children suffer some type of sexual abuse. Who is the typical offender? In more than one-third of the sexual abuse cases involving children, the offender is known to the child and its family. In other words, the abuser is often a parent, relative or close family friend.

    Because children are so trusting and defenseless, they especially are vulnerable to sexual assault. 

    Children often make up stories, but they rarely lie about being a victim of sexual assault. If a child tells you about being touched or assaulted, take it seriously. Your response helps determine how the child will react to the abuse. Stay calm. Explain that you are concerned about what happened, and are not angry with the child. 

    Many children feel guilty as if they provoked the assault. Children need to be reassured that they are not to blame, and that they are right to tell you about what happened.

    Sometimes a child may be too frightened or confused to talk directly about the abuse. Be alert for any changes in behavior that might hint that the child has suffered a disturbing experience.

 

 

 

Contact Information

Lynn Police Department
Domestic Violence Unit
300 Washington Street
Lynn, MA  01902

781-595-2000



Send email to Web1@lynnpolice.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Lynn Police Department - 300 Washington Street - Lynn, Massachusetts 01902