Sexual violence is common. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 6 men, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 gender nonconforming individuals will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Sexual violence is committed where consent or permission is not freely given. It is most often committed by an acquaintance or someone the victim trusts. Sexual violence occurs at all ages, backgrounds and genders.
Sexual violence includes a range of nonconsensual sexual behaviors that manipulate, intimidate and exert power on a person. This can include sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, harassment, trafficking, domestic violence, cyber abuse, revenge porn, and rape.
Know Your Rights
It is never the fault of a victim who is sexually abused.
All children are vulnerable. All teens and adults alike are at risk of being sexually victimized. Regardless of the choices people make or who they are – No one ever deserves to be sexually abused.
You must give your employer advance notice of your planned leave, following your employer’s policy for requesting leave. If you cannot give advance notice due to emergency or unforeseen circumstances, you must give notice no later than the end of the first day that you took leave.
Your employer may require verification that you are a victim of sexual assault and that the leave was taken for one of the allowable activities. The verification must be provided to your employer before taking leave, or within a reasonable time during or after the leave. You do not have to discuss any information about the sexual assault with your employer. You only have to provide verification.
For more information about your rights as a survivor and employee, check out Employment Rights of Sexual Assault Survivors.
- Right to move before the end of your rental agreement if certain conditions are met.
- Right to equal treatment and protection from discrimination due to experiencing a sexual assault.
- Right to security in your home, such as your landlord changing your locks.
- Medical records
- Counseling records
- Therapy records
- Rape crisis records
- Education records
- Immigration status
Both respondents and media may feel entitled to access private information about you. Depending on what kind of information is being requested, there are different options in responding.
- Protection Order Hearing Guidelines (English)
- Understanding the Sexual Assault Protection Order, A Step by Step Guidebook (English, Spanish)
- Are You Being Stalked? (English)
If your case has been criminally charged, the judge can issue a criminal no-contact order. A no-contact order generally tells the perpetrator of domestic violence to stay away from you when they are released from custody before arraignment or trial on bail or personal recognizance. A no-contact order may be put into place at any time during the court proceedings. No-contact orders end when the criminal case ends (e.g. when charges are dropped, after a “not guilty verdict,” or when probation ends).
- Right to be informed about the criminal case
- Right to be heard and address the court where defendant is being considered for release
- Right to submit a victim impact statement
- Right to attend all court proceedings
- Right to receive protection as a victim
- Right to have property returned
- Right to restitution
As a crime victim, you are eligible for assistance through Crime Victim Compensation and the Address Confidentiality Program
Rights as Minors
- The right to consent to sexual intercourse is 16 years
- The right to consent to medical examination or treatment without parental notification is 13 years
- The right to file for a protection order on your own is 15 years
For Title IX cases involving your school, if you are under 18 years old, any teacher or school staff you report a sexual assault to is a mandatory reporter and the school is obligated to follow through with an investigation.