FAQ

Sexual assault is not the easiest topic to tackle but it is a very important one. KCCASA + ISAS staff get a lot of questions, and bet we would get a lot more if people were not afraid to ask. Here are some of our FAQs. If you want more info or have something else to ask, we are here to talk 24/7 on the hotline. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420. It is 100% free and confidential.

What is ‘Sexual Assault’?

Sexual assault is an umbrella term. It covers any type of sexual activity that a person doesn’t agree to. Examples include:

• Inappropriate touching
• Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration, even with an object
• Rape – sexual intercourse without consent
• Attempted rape
• Child sexual abuse
• Voyeurism
• Exhibitionism
• Incest
• Sexual harassment

Sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. It can happen anywhere and in any context.

Do I need a referral to get help from KCCASA or ISAS?

No. No one needs a referral to contact KCCASA or ISAS or to seek help. Sometimes people confuse us with the Child’s Advocacy Center, which does require a DCFS or Police referral. KCCASA + ISAS do not. You can simply pick up the phone and call 24/7 on the hotline. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420. It is 100% free and confidential.

Who can receive services from KCCASA + ISAS?

Survivors of sexual assault, as well as there non-offending family members and significant others, can receive Advocacy and Counseling services at KCCASA + ISAS. Clients do not need to be referred. The assault or abuse does not need to be recent. We serve many adult clients who were abused as children. You can simply pick up the phone and call 24/7 on the hotline. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420. It is 100% free and confidential.
KCCASA + ISAS welcome and support all survivors, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. PrideFlag 
Community Education services are available any interested party.

I was sexually assaulted. What can I do?

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.

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 assaultSANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). Presence St. Mary’s is one of only 3 SANE programs in the state. If you or a loved one is trying to decide where to seek care, please keep this in mind.

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.

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.

What will happen if I report my sexual assault to the police?

When you call the station, an officer will take an initial report, either over the phone or by coming to you. That initial report will be forwarded on to a detective who will then begin an investigation. The detective will have you come to the police station to give a full report. In smaller departments, the officer might take the full report and conduct the investigation. After the investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the State’s Attorney Office. A Legal Advocate can help you with every step in the criminal justice process. Please call the hotline for an advocate. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420.  

What will happen if I report my child's sexual assault to the police?

When you call the station, an officer will take an initial report, either over the phone or by coming to you. That initial report will be forwarded on to a detective who will likely schedule an interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). At the CAC, your child will be interviewed by a trained forensic interviewer. The interview will be viewed by representatives from the police department, State’s Attorney’s Office, and DCFS.  A Legal Advocate can help you and your child with every step in the criminal justice process. Please call the hotline for an advocate. In Kankakee Co. call 815.932.3322, in Iroquois Co. call 815.432.0420. 

If I seek services at KCCASA + ISAS, will I need to involve the police?

No. You do not need to involve the police in your case. You have the right not to talk to the police.

However, KCCASA + ISAS staff and volunteers are mandated reporters. If we know of a child being abused, we will report it to DCFS. Please call our office and speak to a Legal Advocate for more information.

What does 'confidential' mean?

Confidentiality means that what is discussed between a victim and KCCASA or ISAS staff or volunteer advocates remains private within the agency. In fact, it is the law.

Illinois’ “Confidentiality of Statements Made to Rape Crisis Personnel” statute provides significant protection to communications between a victim and a rape crisis worker. Creating an absolute privilege for rape victims has provided victims with stronger protections and given victims more control over information about their lives. Victims can confide in rape crisis center counselors and advocates, knowing that they run little risk of having those communications disclosed publicly unless they consent to such disclosure. – ICASA.org

KCCASA + ISAS staff and volunteers are Mandated Reporters. If we know of a child being abused, we will report it to DCFS. Please call our office and speak to a Legal Advocate for more information on confidentiality.

How do I talk to my child about sexual abuse?

Many parents fear talking to their child about sexual abuse. It seems intimidating and they do not want to expose their child to such a difficult topic. However, talking about it is very important to their safety! It doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. You are always welcome to contact a Preventionist at prevention@kc-casa.org.or call 815-932-7273 for assistance and advice on having age appropriate conversations with your children.

Preventionists are also available to present to parent groups on many topics, including how to talk to your child about sexual abuse. Find out more here.

Additionally, this list of children’s’ books may help:

  • “The Kid Trapper” Julie Cook
  • “Uncle Willy’s Tickles” Marcie Aboff
  • “My Body is Private” Linda Walvoord Girard
  • “The Right Touch” Sandy Kleven
  • “I Said No!” Zack and Kimberly King
  • “No More Secrets for Me” Oralee Wachter

How can I help KCCASA + ISAS?

There are many ways to help KCCASA + ISAS! We are encouraged by the support and involvment of our community in helping fight sexual violence.

You could become a Volunteer Advocate trained in crisis intervention through our 40 hour training program, or become a Community Ally and serve on one of our committees. You can also support KCCASA + ISAS by attending events which raise funds and awareness. And, as always, we appreciate donations of any size. We even have a wish list of items that help our agency function day to day.

Please check out the above links to learn more.

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What do I do if my child discloses abuse to me or another family member?

Your immediate response to a child’s disclosure plays an important role in how well the child rebounds from the emotional wounds of sexual abuse. In addition, what you say-or don’t say- may determine whether a strong case can be built against the person responsible for the abuse. The following information will assist in preparing you to help a child victim.

BELIEVE THE CHILD
Children rarely make up stories about sexual abuse. In fact, they tend to keep the abuse a secret for a long time due to threats from the perpetrator and repeatedly being told the abuse is their own fault. Reassure the child that they are not to blame for what happened. Tell them “I believe you!” and “This is not your fault!”

STAY CALM
Hearing a disclosure can be traumatic. Try to stay calm. If you react strongly, the child may stop talking, take back information or internalize this as another reason to feel bad. Reassure the child that you are glad that he/she told someone. Tell them “You are so brave for telling me. I am proud of you!” Children also benefit enormously from hearing this has happened to other others. Tell them “You are not alone – it’s happened to other kids, too.”

DON’T INVESTIGATE
Let the police and investigators ask questions regarding what happened, when and with whom. Defense attorneys often attempt to discredit information provided by the child, especially if the child has been asked “leading” questions – example: “He touched you, didn’t he?”

LET THE CHILD TALK
Often, the child has been carrying this secret for a long time and needs to “let it out” to lessen their burden. Encourage the child to express his or hers feelings (offer crayons and paper, if needed), but do not interrogate them.

KEEP THE CHILD INFORMED
Always acknowledge that the child is present and address them directly about what you are doing. Tell them “We need to get some help.” Ask the child “Who else can we tell?” Suggest a caretaker, grandparents, social worker, or police.

PROTECT THE CHILD
Get them away from the abuser and immediately report the abuse to local authorities.

Call:
DCFS to report abuse: 800-25-ABUSE (800.252.2873)
911 for immediate assistance
KCCASA + ISAS with your questions: office 815.932.7273 24 hr. hotline 815.932.3322

If the child tells you of the sexual abuse immediately after it occurred, do not bathe the child or wash or change his or her clothes. This is vital to providing valuable physical evidence for the investigation.

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