The Sexual Assault/Forensic Nurses at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center will provide safe, compassionate, and confidential care to anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault. Our nurses have been specially trained in providing trauma informed care to our patients.
If you have been sexually assaulted (raped)
- Your safety is most important. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger. Go to a safe place as soon as you can and ask someone you trust to stay with you.
- Seek medical-forensic care as quickly as possible after sexual assault.
- If you are uncomfortable coming to the emergency department, call 633-7670, provide the secretary with your phone number, and a forensic nurse will return your phone call.
- Remember: bathing, wiping, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, changing your clothes or douching may compromise evidence collection. However, please do not hesitate to come to see the nurse if you have done any or even all these actions. If you are interested in evidence collection, there could still be potential evidence present.
- If you are over the age of 18 it is your choice as to involve law enforcement or not.
- Your medical-forensic exam will be driven by your wishes, no part of the exam is mandatory.
What can we do to help you?
- Provide medical-forensic exam
- Collect evidence if you choose
- Help with contacting law enforcement if you wish to do so
- Provide preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy prevention if you wish to do so
- Help with contact community resources for safety if needed (Safehouse, etc.)
- Provide a list of community resources for future needs (legal advice, advocacy, housing assistance, etc.)
What is Sexual Assault?
- Sexual assault is the legal term for rape, but it encompasses other behaviors beyond forced sexual intercourse. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact (such as groping sexual body parts) or it can be any penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth. These acts are committed against a person’s will or are committed with intimidation or physical force. Maybe something about when patient is not able to consent due to alcohol or drugs.
- Sexual assault is not about sexual desire; it is about power and control.
What is Consent?
- Consent is not the absence of the word “no.” If you resisted, pushed, didn’t participate (just laid there) or the attacker had to coerce you into the act, you did not give consent.
- Consent is needed by both people involved in an intimate act.
- Each person needs to be fully conscious and aware.
- Each person is equally free to act.
- Each person clearly communicates his/her willingness and permission.
Who sexually assaults others?
- Anyone may be the perpetrator of sexual assault.
- The perpetrator may be a stranger, an acquaintance, a lover, a partner or a date.
- Most of the time the perpetrator of the assault is someone the victim knows.
Do I have to report to the police?
- Going to the hospital does not mean that you must make a report to the police, unless you are under the age of 18.
- It is still important to come to the hospital even if you do not want to report your assault so you can receive medical care and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy prevention.
- You can always decide to report to the police later.
If I tell my family, will it be helpful?
Many people find it hard to disclose to their family, but ultimately find the love and support given by family to be helpful to their healing process. Some survivors may be concerned about hurting their family or fear that their family may blame them for the attack. Only you can decide when or if to tell your family.
What if you have mutual friends or belong to the same groups as the assailant?
This is a common situation since most assaults occur between acquaintances. Surround yourself with people who support, respect and believe you. Trust your instincts and take steps to ensure your personal safety and well-being. If you are experiencing harassment or feel unsafe, contact the police or district attorney’s office to learn more about legal options.