What to Do If You Are a Victim of Rape

August 12, 2022
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

If you are the victim of a Maryland rape, you have the right to press charges against your assailant. This can be done through police or prosecutors, and it will help hold those who hurt you accountable for their actions and prevent them from hurting others in the future. It’s important to know how to handle your case if you become a victim of rape so that you’re prepared with the best possible plan of action before making any decisions. For more information on what to do if you are a victim of rape, keep reading this article from our friends at Cohen & Cohen.

Get Medical Help

As soon as possible, go and get help. This will include looking for evidence at the hospital, seeking counseling for psychological issues, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and drugs, and support groups for victims of rape. All of these things can happen at once or spread out over time depending on your individual needs. Getting help should always be the first priority following an assault, because it can’t be undone. It’s also important to have medical professionals document your injuries for your case.

Tell Your friends

When you talk to your friends and family about what happened, you may find that they are supportive and that they have great resources for support in your community. These discussions are an important step towards healing and recovery. Talking with people who care about you can also help with the anger, guilt, shame or other negative feelings that may be blocking your way forward. Keep in mind that if the person was violent or made threats while raping you, they may still be dangerous and these conversations should only take place with trusted friends.

Check out Legal Help

If you are a victim of rape, the first thing you should do is contact the police. These professionals can take down your statement and provide you with protection and support. They will be able to tell you where services for victims are available in your area. After talking to the police, you may want to find a lawyer who specializes in cases like yours. Your lawyer can help guide you through what will happen next: testifying against your rapist at trial or negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. The goal of any lawyer who represents sexual assault survivors is justice: protecting them from their attacker while holding them accountable.

Connect with Support Groups

Depending on your needs, the support groups available in your area may be for people in different circumstances. For example, if you are considering reporting an incident to law enforcement, it is important that you find a support group that deals with what to do when meeting with officers or family members and so on. Another reason to join a group is if you want help in changing how you see yourself or what happened. These groups provide encouragement and offer insights into how society sees rape victims, which can help empower someone who has been violated.

Take Time to Heal Physically and Emotionally

If you are a victim of rape, it is important to take time to heal from the physical and emotional trauma. There are many ways to help yourself physically, such as sleeping and eating well and getting exercise. It is also important to heal emotionally. Talking about your feelings with a friend or family member can help. Additionally, seeking therapy may be beneficial in helping you understand how you feel, process your emotions, and get back on track with your life’s journey. Lastly, dealing with potential aftereffects of a rape includes examining any STI exposure risk and taking steps to minimize the potential transmission risks including HIV prevention.

If you have experienced a sexual assault, contact a lawyer immediately for help with your case.