What to know before speaking out about sexual assault

Being sexually assaulted is something that no one should ever have to endure. An incident that lasted only seconds or minutes can have the power to affect the victim's entire perspective on the world for years to come.

In many cases, victims of sexual assault can suffer from low self-esteem, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Am I required to report a sexual assault?

Speaking out about sexual assault is not obligatory. As the victim of assault, you have the complete authority to decide whether or not you want to take action. However, if you believe that you may be at risk of future abuse, it is important to take steps in order protect yourself. If you are considering reporting the sexual assault that took place, you should understand how the law applies to such situations.

Can intoxicated people consent to sexual acts?

If a person is clearly impeded by alcohol and drugs, they are not in a position to consent to sexual conduct. Therefore, intercourse with a heavily intoxicated person could constitute rape.

Do I need to report the sexual assault within a given time frame?

Unlike many types of legal claims, there is no statute of limitations regarding sexual assault. You can report sexual harassment regardless of whether it occurred two days or 20 years ago. However, making a report earlier will make it more likely that charges can successfully be brought.

If you have been affected by sexual assault, it is important to know that there are laws in place to protect you. Additionally, there are many counseling and therapy services available to those who need it.

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