Sexual Assault Victims Have Options Even Without Reporting The Crime

Tuesday, October 16th 2018, 7:19 pm
By: News On 6

Rape victims in Green Country can get free sexual assault exams, even if they don’t want to report the crime to police.

Sexual assault nurses want victims to know they can get treatment and help, and it can all be done confidentially.

Experts say there are a lot of reasons victims may not want to report they were a victim of a sexual assault, but they still say it’s important to get the exam, get treated for injuries, and have access to counseling services.

If a victim doesn’t want to call police, they can call DVIS.  Within 30 minutes, a nurse and a volunteer will meet the victim.  Evidence will be collected and antibiotics offered for sexually transmitted infections, as well as emergency contraception.

“This is all very confidential,” said Kathy Bell, a sexual assault nurse examiner.

The kit of evidence will be saved and stored properly, but it won’t have a name on it, only a number, and the kit will never be tested unless the victim has a change of heart and the victim can live anywhere in Green Country.

“Not many people change their mind, but I had one lady call, and it was four years ago,” said Bell.

Experts say victims may have lots of reasons for not wanting to call the cops.

“The most common one we see is they don’t know if something happened,” said Bell.  “They think something happened, but drugs or alcohol were in use and they wake up the next morning and have a feeling something happened.”

Other reasons may include the victim being afraid the rapist will hurt them if they call, or there was something illegal going on at the time, or they just don’t want their friends and family to know.

Of course, if someone under 18 is sexually assaulted, that has to be reported to police.

Of the 500 rape exams done each year in Tulsa, 50 of them are no reports.

The kits will be saved and preserved for 12 years, so the victim has that long to decide if they want to proceed with the case.