What do I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?
First know that you are not alone. Call our 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-928-7273 and a trained, supportive advocate from the Lotus Crisis Response Team will respond to you immediately. This team is here to support victims of sexual assault, rape and child sexual abuse. They are always on call and will respond immediately. You will be met with a trained advocate who will provide you with access to resources and help you understand your legal and medical rights.
You can choose what happens next:
- All victims have access to medical treatment, a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) and advocacy services. You can decide if you receive:
- Medical treatment
- Or medical treatment, SAFE kit and help in reporting to law enforcement.
- Or medical treatment, SAFE kit, and storage of kit for up to 1 year without reporting to law enforcement.
- After you’ve received the medical treatment you need, our Lotus advocates will help you understand your options as far as therapy services and legal advocacy. At Lotus Sexual Violence Resource Center, we want to help you hope, heal and grow again. That may feel out of reach right now. We understand. But we urge you to make the call. We are here to help. Let us walk with you as you heal. Call 1-800-928-7273.
You can call our 24- hour crisis line to speak with an advocate. If you would like to have a forensic exam done to gather any evidence of a sexual assault, please go to your nearest hospital. To maximize likelihood of gathering evidence, do not shower, brush your teeth, eat/drink, use bathroom, or change clothes before going to the hospital. If you have already done one or more of these things, you can still have a forensic exam completed. Once you arrive at the hospital, they will call our Lotus Crisis Response Team to send an advocate to help you.
Here are the hospitals in the Lotus area that can provide you with medical attention and perform the SAFE exam:
What should I do if my child has been sexually assaulted?
If you are a parent or guardian of a child who has been sexually assaulted, we want to help make sure your child is safe. Child abuse and assault is required, by law, to be reported. Call your local law enforcement, or visit your local hospital for medical treatment. Once you arrive at the hospital, they will call our Lotus Crisis Response Team to send an advocate who will help you.
At Lotus, we have specially trained professionals who work specifically with children to help them feel comfortable and safe. We work with a multi-disciplinary team made up of community partners and children’s advocacy professionals. As a team (as seen below), we work together to help the child feel safe and supported throughout the legal and healing process. Learn more about our Children’s Advocacy Center.
What is a SAFE kit?
The SAFE kit is a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. This is the evidence collection kit that is provided by the Kentucky State Police in order to collect forensic evidence when someone has been sexually abused or assaulted. The SAFE is free of charge. Learn more about the SAFE kit notification process at kentuckybacklog.com.
How is a SAFE kit completed?
Appropriate medical personnel can complete a SAFE; the SAFE is usually completed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), Physician’s Assistant (PA), or a Physician.
What is a SANE?
SANE is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. SANEs are specially trained through the Kentucky Board of Nursing to complete the sexual assault forensic exam. The evidence collected from this exam can/will be used in the criminal investigation if you choose to report the assault to law enforcement. You have the choice to either store the SAFE for a year or immediately inform law enforcement, unless the assault meets mandatory reporting criteria. SANEs are trained to provide trauma-informed care and will focus on your needs during hospital treatment.
What is a “mandatory report”?
Kentucky law requires mandatory reporting of child abuse, neglect, and dependency (KRS 620) and the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults who have a physical or mental disability and are unable to protect themselves; this might include an elderly person (KRS 209).
Do I have to report my sexual assault to law enforcement?
No, victims have rights in sexual assault cases unless it meets mandatory reporting criteria. You can complete a SAFE kit and then report to law enforcement; or you can have the hospital store the kit for up to one year as you decide whether or not to report it.
What if I experienced sexual assault while in prison?
If you have experienced sexual assault or violence while in prison, you still have rights and can take action under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Download our survivor handbook here. Learn more about PREA through the Just Detention International.