The Rainshadow Community Charter High School Blog Week #9 Sexual Assault Support Services Presentation

The Rainshadow Community Charter High School Blog Week #9 Sexual Assault Support Services Presentation

The Rainshadow Crew had a nice relaxing spring break and are back in full force this week and are excited as ever about the opening of the Holland Project! This week, we are very lucky to have Caitlyn and Kyle from Sexual Assault Support Services right here in Reno come to our class to tell us about what kinds of support are service is available to victims of sexual assault and violence.

One of the most impotant functions of the Holland Project is to provide a venue where young people can come together and educate one another on issues that are important in our lives. We find it so critically important that we want to share as much of this important information with you as we can…

Sexual Assault Support Services can be reached locally at: 775-784-8090 or nationally at: 1-800-992-5757.

The Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) team provides immediate crisis intervention services for both survivors of sexual assault, their family members and/or friends. We provide information regarding medical treatment, reporting to law enforcement and the judicial process. The SASS team provides confidential support, information and advocacy. We are also able to assist with referrals for financial assistance and long term counseling services.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is any unwanted, forced or coerced sexual act. It includes acquaintance rape, date rape, stranger rape, child sexual abuse and incest. Sexual assault is not sex, but a crime of violence where sex is used as a weapon, motivated by the rapist’s desire to have power and control over the victim. Sexual assault violates not only a person’s body but also their sense of safety and control over their life.


Who are the victims of sexual assault?

Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, cultural background, religion, marital status, physical or mental ability, gender or sexual orientation. A person can be assaulted by their spouse. One out of every three women will be assaulted at least once in their lifetime. One out of every four girls and one out of every six boys will be assaulted before their 18th birthday.

What if you are assaulted?

If you are a victim of sexual assault, these are some things may choose to do:

Go to a safe place
Get medical care. Immediate medical care is vital. You may not be aware of injuries you have received, and you should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. You can receive medical care at any hospital emergency room. However, if there is a chance that you may report the assault to law enforcement, please go to Northern Nevada Medical Center on Prater Way in Sparks. You can be also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases at the Washoe County Health Department or Planned Parenthood. You do not have to file a police report to receive medical treatment. Nevada law requires the county in which the crime occurred pay for initial medical costs for victims of sexual assault. Ask the hospital to call a SASS team advocate. They can discuss your options and help you with referrals for additional services.
Call a supportive person, a friend or relative, or the Crisis Call Center. You can call the Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 775-784-8090.

To report or not to report . . .

Reporting the sexual assault to law enforcement is the survivor’s choice. We encourage survivors to report the crime in the hope of protecting others. However, a victim’s decision should always be respected and supported, whether or not they choose to file a police report.

If you are assaulted, and you are planning to file a police report, please follow these guidelines:








Cleaning up is a normal reaction, but it can destroy crucial evidence. However, you can still report the crime, even if you have cleaned up. Forensic examinations can be conducted up to 7 days after the assault occurred.

A note to the Survivor . . .

You have been through a traumatic experience. It is important for you know that no matter what the circumstances of the assault were, it was not your fault. Victims of sexual assault, child sexual abuse and incest are not to blame. The perpetrator is at fault.

You will experience many different feelings and emotions after the assault. The trauma of an assault does not end when the act is over. Each of us responds to crisis in our own way, and no reaction is “wrong” or “crazy”. Common feelings include fear, guilt, shame and anger. Some people will experience depression, flashbacks, anxiety, troubled sleeping and/or eating patterns, and problems re-establishing sexual relationships. Many survivors re-experience some of these feelings or problems months or years after the assault. Your reactions are unique to you. Others may tell you how you should feel, and when you should feel “better”, or what you should do to help yourself. Remember that you are an individual, and you are entitled to your own feelings and reactions. It is important to allow your feelings to surface following the assault. The Sexual Assault Support Services volunteers can help you access information on victims compensation programs; long term counseling and other services that may help you rebuild your life.

Support Group Information . . .

The Crisis Call Center offers a free and confidential support group for survivors of sexual assault. This group provides a safe, supportive setting where survivors can express their feelings and work through issues they face on a daily basis with others who have gone through a similar experience. Group meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM. The group is facilitated by Judith Mathews, M.F.T.

For more information, please contact Judith at 324-1316.

How can you help?

The Sexual Assault Support Services program relies heavily on volunteers to help us provide 24-hour services to victims of sexual assault in our community. We provide all the necessary training for you to become an advocate. You will accompany victims to the hospital, to the police station or to court as needed. Once trained, you are scheduled to be “on call” to provide support and information for victims. You may be asked to call someone who has just been assaulted to help them make informed choices. When scheduled, our volunteers carry pagers, supplied by the program, and must be available to respond at a moment’s notice. For more information on becoming a SASS advocate, call our business office at 775-784-8085.