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If you've been sexually assaulted

If you would like more information about our sexual assault services or to schedule an exam, please call the SPEAK Hotline: 575-303-7070

To speak to a victim advocate, 24/7, call 575-303-7072

If you are in danger: Dial 911 for help

If you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideation: Dial 988 for help

If you are injured: Seek medical care or go to the emergency room

Have you been strangled?

DO NOT   Blame yourself. This is NOT your fault. You are a victim of a serious crime and deserve care, resources, and support.

DO NOT   Eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Do not bathe any part of your body post-assault. This includes douching, showering, rinsing your mouth, etc.

DO NOT   Wash, discard, or destroy the clothing that was work during the assault. This will destroy forensic evidence left from the crime.

DO   Be prepared to share. We need to hear about your assault in order to treat you: this is entirely self-paced, and we will not rush or judge you.

DO   Bring in the clothing you were wearing during your assault. It can be collected as forensic evidence for your Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK).

DO   Feel free to bring a loved one. It's okay to need support. We will treat whoever accompanies you as a guest, and make sure they are comfortable.


Sexual Assault Survivor's Bill of Rights

The Medical Provider Shall

- Ask the survivor for contact information
- Ask the survivor for consent to release the kit to law enforcement or explain how the survivor may authorize release of the kit at a later date

- Provide a copy of the kit release policy to the survivor
- Provide the survivor with information about HIV/STD and services through the NM Department of Health
- Provide the survivor with information about the Statewide Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System
- With survivor's consent, notify law enforcement of the collection of the kit
- Notify the survivor of the release of the kit to law enforcement
- Provide the survivor's contact information to law enforcement when the kit is transferred

Law Enforcement Shall

- Confirm contact information
- Inform the survivor that the forensic crime laboratory shall complete the processing of the kit within 180 days of receipt of the kit by the lab
- Inform the survivor when the kit is tested and whether a DNA profile was developed
- Upon completion of the investigation, inform the survivor whether a DNA profile match was identified through comparison
- If the law enforcement agency intends to destroy the survivor's kit, notify survivor at least 180 days prior to the planned destruction and provide information on how the survivor may appeal the decision
- Enter information into the tracking system within 14 days of obtaining consent
- Respond to the survivor's written request for information in writing

Before the interview by the investigator or the prosecutor, the survivor shall

- Be given a document with the survivor's rights and the opportunity to sign confirming receipt
- Have the right to consult with a counselor, advocate, or designated person during the interview
- Have the right to a support person during the interview and through the judicial process
- Have the right to request a different officer if the survivor believes the officer to be unsupportive or inadequately trained

In criminal or civil cases, the survivor has a right to

- Be reasonably protected from the defendant
- Not submit to a polygraph
- Be heard through a survivor's impact statement at all relevant proceedings
- Provide a sentencing recommendation to the official conducting a pre-sentence investigation
- Not be prosecuted for any misdemeanor crime, if the evidence is obtained through the investigation of the sexual assault
- Designate another person to receive notifications and inform on behalf of the survivor

Myths and Facts about Sexual Assault

Myth Sexual Assault is an act of lust and passion that can't be controlled
    Fact  Sexual Assault is about power and control and is not motivated by sexual gratification

Myth If a victim of sexual assault does not fight back, they must have thought the assault was not that bad or they wanted it

    Fact  Many survivors experience tonic immobility or a "freeze response" during an assault where they physically cannot move or speak.

Myth A lot of victims lie about being raped or give false reports

    Fact  Only 2-8% of rapes are falsely reported, the same percentage as for other felonies.

Myth A person cannot sexually assault their partner or spouse

    Fact  Nearly 1 in 10 women have experienced rape by an intimate partner in their lifetime

Myth People that have been sexually assaulted will be hysterical and crying
    Fact  Everyone responds differently to trauma- some may laugh, some may cry, and others will not show any emotions.

Myth Men are not victims of sexual violence

    Fact  1.5% of all men have been raped and 47% of bisexual men have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime.

Myth Wearing revealing clothing, behaving provocatively, or drinking a lot means the victim was "asking for it"

    Fact  The perpetrator selects the victim- the victim's behavior or clothing choices do not mean that they are consenting to sexual activity

Myth there is nothing we can do to prevent sexual violence

    Fact  There are many ways you can help prevent sexual violence, including intervening as a bystander to protect someone who may be at risk.

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