A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


If You Are a Victim

Rape is the unlawful compelling of a person, through physical force or duress, to have sexual intercourse.  This can include vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is in the form of a foreign object. This definition includes attempted rapes, male and female victims, and heterosexual and homosexual rape. Rape is a crime even if you already know the person who attacked you. It is not about love; it is not even about sex.  It is about control. 

Sexual assault includes a wide range of victimizations which can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.   Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and includes such things as fondling, unwanted kissing, voyeurism, exhibitionism, incest, and sexual harassment.  Sexual assault can also include  verbal threats. This type of crime can  include either completed or attempted attacks.  

If You Are Victim:

Don't stay in the area of the rape. Go to a safe place, and contact someone you trust who can be with you and give you support. At the very least you will need someone to give you emotional support. If there is no one close by for you to go to, then call someone you can talk to, no matter how late it is.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible to be examined and treated for possible venereal disease. As much as you may want to 'scrub yourself off', do not shower or change your clothes first. If you do decide to press charges, the physical specimens collected soon after the rape will be valuable evidence. If you suspect that you may have been given a 'rape drug', ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample. 

Be sure to report the attack whether or not you plan to file charges. Bring a friend or family member with you.  

Get help and support, such as counseling. Call a rape or crisis hotline.  Counseling is important to healing. If you try to pretend the rape didn’t happen, it will eventually affect every aspect of your life.
Most of All:

Above all, do not blame yourself.  YOU are the victim and are not responsible. Your behavior, your manner of dress, the fact that you may have had a couple of drinks, did not cause the rape; the rapist caused the rape.

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