What To Do After an Assault


  • Get to a safe place.
  • Do not eat, drink, bathe, or use the restroom.
  • Call the police (calling the police and filing a report DOES NOT mean you have to press charges and go to court).
  • Go to the emergency room.
  • Call a family member, friend, or Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis.  NWARC advocates can support you during the medical and legal processes.
  • As soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the rapist and the assault.  Keep the notes in a safe place.

The Medical Process After a Sexual Assault

If the rape occured within a limited number of hours (usually 72-120), you will receive a rape examination during which time a doctor or nurse will gather evidence for the rape kit.  This will include a blood test and pelvic examination, often with a colposcope.  The evidence in the rape kit can be used to prosecute the rapist.

If you agree to report the crime and go to the emergency room WITHIN 72 HOURS, the rape kit and medical examination will be paid for through the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board.

You must report the sexual assault to the police before a doctor or nurse will perform a rape exam.

You will be offered preventative treatment for pregnancy (if applicable) and sexually transmitted diseases.

You will be given instructions and options for follow-up care.


The Legal Process After a Sexual Assault

An officer from the area in which the rape occurred will take a report.  Try to give a complete description of your attacker.  The police may find the assailant in the vicinity.

After reporting to the local police, a detective will be assigned to investigate your case and will interview you.  The detective will ask you to go over the assault in detail.  Talking about it may be difficult, but this information is necessary to find the rapist and gather evidence about this person.

If you have any questions about the progress of the investigation or if you remember more details, call your detective.

When the attacker has been identified and there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the case, an arrest will most likely be made.

The prosecuting attorney will be assigned to prosecute your case.  The P.A. will discuss the assault with you in order to prepare the best possible case for trial.

During the court process, which may stretch out over a period of months, you wil receive support from your NWARC advocate and from the Victim Assistance Coordinator at the prosecuting attorney's office.

Keep in mind that a rape is considered a crime against the state.  When you testify, you are classified not as the victim, but as a witness to the crime of rape.


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Contact Info:
Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis, Inc
614 E. Emma, Suite 247
Springdale, AR 72764

Hotline: 479-927-1020 or 800-794-4175
Business office: 479-927-1025