by Kevin Caruso
If you are raped -- Immediately call the police. Only 1 in 6 rapes are reported, but rape is a VERY serious crime and the rapist needs to be punished. Please do not hesitate to call the police.
DO NOT take a shower or wash yourself in any way. Although you may feel like taking a shower after you are raped, please NO NOT do so. You want to preserve any evidence on your body or clothing to help with the prosecution of the rapist. So, please do not shower, bathe, wash your face, hands, mouth, or any part of your body. Do not brush you teeth, and do not even comb your hair.
Do not change clothes or clean your clothes. Allow the police officers to gather as much evidence as possible.
Go to the hospital. Whether you think you need to go or not, you MUST go to the hospital and inform the staff that you were raped. Bring family members or friends with you for support.
Tell the hospital staff to conduct a rape kit exam; again, you want as much evidence as possible against the rapist.
Insist on a urine sample at the hospital. A urinalysis can detect if you were drugged; even if you do not think you were drugged, insist on the test.
Write down everything that happened. It may be tough to do because of the trauma that you experienced, but write down as much as possible; keep writing and writing. Forget about grammar and spelling, just write EVERYTHING that comes to mind about the rape.
Write down as much as you can remember about the rapist. What he looked like, what he was wearing, everything he said to you.
And write down everything that he did.
Keep writing until you cannot write down a single word more.
Next, reach out for help.
Call family, relatives, and friends that you trust. Do not keep the rape a secret. You have been through an extreme trauma, and you will need support. Reach out.
Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is a 24 hour hotline:
Get into therapy IMMEDIATELY. Do not delay. Find a therapist that you like, and stay with her.
Realize that it will take some time to work through the difficult emotions of rape, but know that you WILL get through the process.
And remember…always, always, always reach out for help when you need it.
Be gentle with yourself.