Sexual assault is perhaps the most widespread and socially tolerated of human rights violation, cutting across borders, race, class, ethnicity, and religion.
Following a rape or attempted sexual assault, the survivor is left in a state of crisis. Decisions are hard to make during this time, but the survivor needs to make some decisions which will affect possible prosecution. Survivors have the right to decide whether or not to report the assault to the police. However, if a survivor goes to the hospital, the medical staff are required to report the assault.
For a strong legal case, it is best to report the assault immediately and obtain medical attention for the gathering of evidence.
The survivor may be required to go through additional questioning with the police detective who will be handling the case. Since this is one of the most important phases of the investigation, it will be detailed and thorough. If there are bruises or other signs of attack that were not visible at the hospital, photographs may be taken at the police station. The survivor may also be asked to write out a report. This will include the survivor’s description of the incident and what happened before and after. The place where the incident took place, including the survivor’s home if that was the scene of the crime, may be searched and examined for fingerprints, stains, weapons, and other evidence. Do not touch or remove anything from the scene of the crime until this is done.
Compensation For Victims of Crime
According to Court of Claims of some Western countries, survivors may be eligible for Victim Compensation. To be eligible for compensation monies a crime must meet the following criteria:
- The crime must have been reported to the police within 72 hours (or be able to show good cause for not doing so)
- The Victim Compensation Claim Form must be filed within two years of the crime date
The availability of compensation money is limited to the following types of losses:
- Allowable medical expenses and counseling fees;
- Work loss as a result of the crime;
- Any needed services loss (i.e. baby-sitting during court procedures or housekeeping assistance if injuries incapacitate the survivor).