After Sexual Violence
You are not alone.

You have gone through a traumatic experience.  We are here to support you and to help address your medical, emotional and financial needs so that you can start healing and reclaim your life.

For some people, healing begins by getting compassionate medical care. For others, it means reporting the crime to police. Others may just need someone to talk to.

At Jackson County SART, we and our community partners put your needs and wishes first. Whatever you decide is best for you, we’re here to help.

That is where we start.

IMMEDIATE CARE ANCHOR LINK

Free, Immediate Care (within 7 days of an assault)

Go to the Emergency Department of any Jackson County hospital and tell them you are there for a sexual assault exam. You will be given a private room and a specially-trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will be called to care for you. A sexual assault advocate from our partner agency, Community Works, will also be available.

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center
2825 East Barnett Rd, Medford
(541) 789-7100

Providence Medical Center
1111 Crater Lake Ave., Medford
(541) 732-6400

Asante Ashland Community Hospital
289 Maple St., Ashland
(541) 201-4100

Before you go

To help preserve evidence, try not to bathe, shower, brush your teeth or go to the bathroom. If you already have, evidence collection can still be done.

Try not to change your clothes, as they may contain evidence. If you have changed, you can bring your clothes to the hospital in a clean paper bag.

At the hospital
The SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) dedicated to your care is a registered nurse who has trained extensively to understand the physical and emotional trauma of rape. She can answer any questions you have about what you are going through and talk over your options for care, for evidence collection and for reporting the crime. A victim advocate will also be available at your request to provide emotional support and help connect you to any needed services.

You can choose to receive – or to refuse – any of the following free services:

  • Immediate attention for medical issues that result from the assault.
  • Testing and preventative treatment for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
  • A forensic exam to collect and document evidence, if you arrive within 84 hours of the assault. You do not have to report your assault to police to have evidence collected. (If you are under 18 or over 65 and/or have a significant disability, the SANE nurse is required to report the crime. Click HERE to read more. You can ask for evidence to be collected and stored anonymously, which leaves your legal options open until you are ready to decide about reporting.

SEVEN DAY CARE ANCHOR LINK

Care More Than 7 Days After an Assault

Even if you are outside the window for free hospital care and evidence collection, we strongly urge you to see your primary health care provider. If you need help accessing or paying for services and/or would like to speak with a victim advocate, you can call Community Works’ HelpLine at any time: (541) 779-4357

For 24/7 Crisis Support

Click here for the Community Works HelpLine

REPORTING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT ANCHOR LINK

Reporting to Law Enforcement

If you decide you want to report your assault, you have several ways to do this:

  • If you have come to the hospital for treatment, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) caring for you can contact a police officer to come speak with you.
  • You can call or go to your local police department.
  • You can call 911 or Community Works’ HelpLine (541) 779-4357.

You Have Options Program (YHOP)

If your assault occurred in the following cities, the law enforcement agencies dealing with your case are members or members-in-training of our partner organization, the You Have Options Program (YHOP):

  • Ashland
  • Central Point
  • Eagle Point
  • Jackson County Sheriff (unincorporated communities, including Gold Hill, Prospect, Ruch, White City)

Police departments in these cities offer multiple options for reporting your assault, and your needs and wishes will guide the pace and extent of any investigation you authorize.

Learn More 

HEALING ANCHOR LINK

Recovering from Sexual Violence

Healing from a sexual assault or abuse takes time, and everyone’s path to recovery is different. Sometimes the trauma slowly lessens over months or years. Sometimes a survivor buries the trauma for a long time. Sometimes symptoms come and go.

It’s never too late to get help. Even if the attack happened months or years or decades ago, you can benefit from talking with a trained advocate or attending our survivor support group, SASH (see below). Support is available for friends, colleagues and family of survivors as well.

SUPPORT GROUP ANCHOR LINK

Resources, Groups, Hotlines

SASH (Sexual Assault Survivors’ Healing): (541) 951-0859
Jackson County SART’s free peer support group for women survivors. SASH meets weekly, in Medford and Ashland. One-on-one support is also available for members outside of group sessions.

SASH also runs a healing group specifically for survivors who are members of the LGBTQ community.

From time to time, as funding permits, SASH conducts an intensive, six-week course, Pathways to Healing, for survivors who want to learn tools and skills to cope with their rape-related trauma in healthy ways within a limited amount of time.

Community Works HelpLine(541) 779-4357.
24/7 access to a local sexual assault advocate for confidential support and advice by phone.

RAINN Online Hotline: online.rainn.org 
Confidential and secure national online chat system (24/7)

I met my people last night.

People I wouldn’t have recognized
or known as my own in the real world.

But inside the safe cocoon of a small room

I saw them & knew I wasn’t alone on this planet.
They spoke the same language I had spoken only to myself.

The see-saw of their emotions was a comfort to me
because it mirrored my own.

Their faces became dear in that brief time & if I had dared,

I would have hugged them to myself & told them . . .
Sisters . . . I have found you & we are not alone.

~ ~ C ~ ~
Poem written by a SASH group member

COMMON RESPONSES ANCHOR LINK

Common Responses to Sexual Violence

While every person responds differently to sexual assault, the following behaviors and reactions are common. They are all normal responses to trauma.

  • Self-blame/shame. Survivors often feel shamed, dirty, devalued and humiliated.  They may also believe that the assault was their fault, and that they are to blame for what happened. Understanding that the assailant is the one responsible for the attack is an important step towards healing.
  • Fear. Some survivors may find it hard to be alone at night or in a setting that reminds them of the place they were attacked.
  • Avoidance. Many survivors try to avoid anything or anyone that will remind them of what they’ve been through. This may mean avoiding getting help. They may also shut themselves off from family, friends and social activities.
  • Acting out sexually through high-risk behavior. This can be one way survivors try to get back control of their body. It can also be a way of reinforcing their feelings of unworthiness or shame.
  • Avoiding sexual activity
  • Nightmares, trouble sleeping
  • Physical symptoms (headaches, stomach problems, etc.)
  • Numbness. Sometimes it takes a while for survivors to feel anything at all.
  • Anger
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood swings. Most survivors experience a lot of ups and downs as they heal. Intense and rapidly changing moods are normal.
  • Distrust. If a survivor was assaulted by someone they knew, they may feel they can’t trust their judgment about other people. If they were attacked by a stranger, they may be unable to trust people they don’t know.
  • Flashbacks, panic attacks, strong emotional responses to certain touch, sounds, smells)
  • Self-injury (cutting, burning, bruising)
  • Dissociation or “checking out”, not able to stay in the present
  • Poor concentration in class or at work
  • Eating disorders
  • Beginning or increasing drug/alcohol use 

No matter how you are feeling, you not alone. If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of these behaviors or feelings, a support group like SASH (541) 951-0859 or talking with a Community Works victim advocate can help (541) 779-HELP/4357.

FAQ ANCHOR LINK

FAQs

WAS IT RAPE ANCHOR LINK

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any sexual contact you do not want and have not consented to.   Consent means a clear, considered and freely-given “yes” to sexual activity when a person feels they could just as freely say “no.”  Someone who feels threatened is not capable of giving consent.  Neither is someone whose judgement has been impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

The absence of a “no” is not the same as consent.

Sexual assault is never the fault of the person experiencing it, even if you:

  • know the person who assaulted you
  • had too much to drink or were high
  • did not fight back or froze in response to what was happening
  • don’t remember what happened
  • said “yes” to earlier sexual activity with this person or others

Whether the sexual assault you experienced can be prosecuted in court varies from state to state, as each state has different legal definitions of what constitutes rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse.  States also have different ways of assessing your legal ability to consent to what happened:  how old you were (in Oregon the legal age of consent for sexual activity is 18); whether the person harming you was someone you depended on or had influence over you, like a caregiver, employer or coach; whether you were incapacitated by alcohol or a physical or mental disability.  You can look these definitions up on RAINN’s State Law Database

Regardless of the possible legal status of what happened, no one should minimize or dismiss what you experienced.  People respond to sexual violence in a variety of ways; many downplay what they went through at first only to find themselves reacting to the trauma of their assault later on [see Common Responses].

Remember that you are not alone.  We understand what you are going through and are here to provide or connect you to any help you need.   

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WHY HOSPITAL ANCHOR LINK

Why go to the hospital?

  • Even if you don’t have obvious physical injuries, it’s important to make sure you’re OK and to discuss any risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections from the sexual assault.
  • If you think you may have been given a “rape drug,” you can have a urine sample taken to test for it.
  • Having a medical exam also allows you to preserve physical evidence of the sexual assault.

WHAT COST ANCHOR LINK

What will the cost be?

  • You will be treated as an out-patient, which means you won’t be billed for treatment related to the sexual assault and your insurance (or your parents’ insurance) won’t be notified.
  • In the rare cases where the SANE nurse cannot treat your physical injuries, you will be registered as an in-patient, generating a hospital bill. The advocate can discuss how to apply for compensation for this portion of your bill.

WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS ANCHOR LINK

What are my rights?

You have the right to:

  • receive medical care or refuse it
  • ask that a friend or advocate be with you in the examination room (or that they stay out so you can have the exam in private)
  • decide whether or not to report the crime to police
  • have evidence collected or not
  • ask that evidence be collected anonymously and held until you decide whether or not to report the crime to police
  • be considered a survivor of rape even if you know your attacker

WHY COLLECT EVIDENCE ANCHOR LINK

Why collect evidence? I can’t deal with pressing charges right now.

  • That’s OK, you won’t have to. Having evidence collected just keeps your options open. SART can store the evidence anonymously until you’re ready to choose what to do.
  • Evidence needs to be collected within 84 hours (3 1/2 days) of the assault. Many people decide days or weeks after their assault, once they make it through the initial trauma, that pressing charges is important to them. Having evidence available strengthens their ability to bring their attacker to justice, if that’s what they decide to do.

CAN I CHOOSE ABOUT POLICE INVOLVEMENT ANCHOR LINK

Can I choose whether or not to involve the police?

  • If you are 18 or older or under 65 and able-bodied, reporting to law enforcement is entirely your decision. An advocate will be available to discuss this option with you. If you are under 18 or have a physical, mental or age-related disability that requires a mandatory report, law enforcement will be contacted. However, if you are 15 or older, you still retain the right to control all aspects of the exam, including medical treatment and evidence collection.

DO MY PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ANCHOR LINK

I’m under 18. Do my parents have to find out?

  • If you are 15 or older, the SANE nurse does not automatically contact your parents. Law enforcement will want to notify a family member or trusted adult; we can work with you to figure out whom you would like notified. If you prefer, an advocate or SANE nurse can talk to the person you choose or be in the room with you when you tell them.

POLICE REPORT ANCHOR LINK

Are there reasons to consider making a police report?

  • Yes, although you’ll want to make the decision that’s best for you. If you like, a SANE nurse or victim advocate can help you talk through pros and cons. Here are a few positive results to consider:
  • Regaining your sense of control. Making a police report is one way of taking control after your assault. Sometimes just knowing that law enforcement has heard you and taken the crime seriously can help you in your recovery, whatever the outcome of the investigation.
  • Protecting others. You need to make doing what’s best for you your first priority. But statistics show most rapists are repeat offenders. Your report may help the police arrest and prosecute a perpetrator before they hurt somebody else. If your assault occurred in the jurisdiction of a law enforcement agency that is part of the You Have Options Program (read more), you can choose to keep your evidence on file anonymously, even if you choose not to press charges, so that it is available to detectives investigating linked assaults.

WORRIED ABOUT TROUBLE ANCHOR LINK

I’m worried I’ll get in trouble (I was doing drugs, I don’t have immigration papers, etc.).

  • If you are crime victim, the police will not use your immigration status or drug use against you. Their concern is getting a violent criminal – your attacker – off the streets.

SCARED OF ATTACKER ANCHOR LINK

I’m scared my attacker will come after me again.

  • There are ways for you to stay safe, and a victim advocate can discuss these with you.
© Copyright - Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team Website Design by Ashland Websites
This project was supported in part by a VOCA grant awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed here are those of the grantee and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.

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