What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is a crime. Sexual violence is any sexual activity that is done without the victim’s consent.

Sexual Assault is not about love or sex. Sexual Assault is an act motivated by one person’s desire to control and have power over someone else. Assailants seek to dominate, humiliate, and punish their victims. It is not done in response to a sexual urge.

Sexual Assault is about hurting someone, and NOBODY asks to be hurt.”
Sexual assault is never a victim’s fault, no matter what you said, what you were doing, wearing, drinking, how you were behaving, or even if you had prior intimate relations with the assailant.

Everyone handles crisis differently and there is no way a victim “should be” or “should act”.
It is common for victims of sexual assault to have delayed reactions or disbelief, be scared or angry, feel depressed, guilty, unsafe, be in denial, or be in a state of shock. Victims can appear as if nothing happened or be visibly disturbed, crying, shaking, or even laughing.


Take Care of yourself whether your past experience is recent or in the past. However, If your assault happened in the past 72 hours, you may want to consider:

  • Contacting a friend or family member for support.
  • Speaking with an advocate from Starting Point.
  • Seek out medical attention.  Seeking medical attention is about your health and safety; You can be examined for injuries and tested for infections and pregnancy.
  • Showering can remove valuable evidence; Even if you are unsure whether or not you want to report your sexual assault, you can have evidence collected by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at (SANE) Huggins and Memorial Hospital.  Any evidence collected will be turned over to the police without your name attached.  You will have 30 days to decide what steps you would like to take.
  • Reporting your crime to the police.

Everyone handles being sexually assaulted differently; There is no right or wrong way for coping.

Starting Point is a not-for-profit community agency made up of professionals and trained volunteers whose goals are to assure that survivors of sexual assault are treated with dignity and compassion. Our role is to advocate on behalf of the victim through the hospital process and legal system.

Starting Point is ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide support to victims of sexual assault, at any point in their journey toward healing. We offer victims:

  • 24-hour confidential support and information for individuals whose lives have been touched by sexual assault.
  • Medical Accompaniment: in-person support at hospitals and clinics.
  • Legal Advocacy and Accompaniment provides information and support with law enforcement agencies and during court procedures.
  • Support Groups for sexual assault survivors, adult survivors of child sexual abuse, and other programs.
  • A Resource Library – books, videos, and information.
  • Download our Sexual Violence Brochure