“I was assaulted. What are my options?”

You are not alone!

There is help and you have options. You can call 24/7 on the hotline to speak to someone about your options. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420. It is 100% free and confidential.

If the assault is recent:

Everyone handles crisis differently but your safety, physical, and emotional well being are the first concerns. If the assault just happened, try to get to a “safe” place where you do not feel at risk of further danger. When someone is sexually assaulted, the first instinct is often to bathe/shower. It is best for the sake of evidence collecting to avoid bathing until after a forensic medical exam at your local hospital emergency room.

You may choose to go to the hospital

Going to the hospital for an exam can help identify any injuries, protect you from STI’s, and address pregnancy concerns. You can choose to have evidence collected by medical staff within 72 hours of the assault. Even if you have bathed, they may still recover evidence and they can evaluate any injuries to determine what follow up care may be needed. You do not need to speak to the police if you seek medical care for an assault.

Medical treatment and evidence collection following a sexual assault can be provided at Presence St. Mary’s, Riverside, or Iroquois Memorial Health emergency departments in our area. However, Presence St. Mary’s of Kankakee has staff with specialized training in treating survivors of sexual assault – SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). Presence St. Mary’s is one of only 3 SANE programs in the state. A SANE’s expertise offers survivors many benefits. If you or a loved one is trying to decide where to seek care, please keep this in mind. You may learn more about Presence St. Mary’s SANE program here.

There is no cost to you for this initial emergency exam. The hospital will bill SASETA (Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act) directly for the cost of the exam.

The most important thing is to get some assurance from a doctor that you are physically well.

A KCCASA / ISAS advocate will come to the hospital to support you. You are not required to talk with the advocate but they can provide you with information, options, and support.

You may choose to call the police.

For adults, reporting to the police is an individual choice. You can contact your local police department via 911 or go to the station to make a report. A KCCASA or ISAS advocate can meet you at the station to support you through the process.

You may choose to call KCCASA / ISAS.

Remember, you are not alone! KCCASA + ISAS advocates will meet you at the hospital, police station, or will just listen if you need someone to talk to. No matter when the assault happened, we will let you know what your options are so you can make informed choices. Do not hesitate to call our 24-hour hotline to speak with an advocate. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420. They can talk you through what you can expect from a medical exam or the initial police report. The advocate can also connect you with our follow-up services which can include counseling and legal advocacy.

If the assault is not recent:

It is never to late to get support and talk about what happened. KCCASA + ISAS Legal Advocates can help you understand your legal options. Medical Advocates can still accompany you to medical appointments to be screened for injuries, STI’s, and pregnancy. Counselors are available to survivors regardless of when the assault or abuse occurred. Do not hesitate to call our 24-hour hotline to speak with an advocate. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420.

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