Sexual Violence

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual Violence refers to unwanted sexual contact without consent:

  • Any type of sexual contact or behavior which is unwanted by the recipient and takes place without explicit and freely given consent and understanding.
  • Sexual Violence can include manipulation, physical force, or coercion.
  • Sexual Violence is about power, control, and entitlement.
  • Some examples of this behavior includes:
    • Penetration, or attempted penetration, on another’s body
    • Unwanted sexual touching with hands or other body parts
    • Unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors that, if rejected, would have direct consequences on your work, school, and/or social status
    • Forcing someone else to perform sexual acts of any kind
Impacts of Sexual Assault:

Each survivor of Sexual Assault can experience the impacts of the assault in different ways. Often individuals may experience:

  • Depression and Anxiety: Survivors may experience weight loss or gain, sleep disturbance, feelings of worthlessness, diminished interest in pleasurable activities, inability to concentrate, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts, anger, self-blame, shame, and anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Survivors may experience flashbacks from the trauma, present symptoms of avoidance and numbing, suicidal ideation, or increased hypervigilance Flashbacks can be triggered by– sounds, smells, words, colors or images, certain people, gestures, bodily sensations, etc.
  • Physical Illness: Survivors may experience stress after an assault, stress suppresses the immune system leading to potential symptoms such as feeling nauseous, experiencing gastrointestinal problems, continued colds or flu, muscle aches, or headaches
  • Sexual Dysfunction: Survivors may experience loss of sexual desire, inability to become aroused, slow arousal, pelvic pain associated with sexual activity, lack of sexual enjoyment, inability to achieve orgasm, fear or avoidance of sex, intrusive thoughts of the assault, and vaginismus
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections: Although the actual risk of contracting an STI for sexual assault victims is relatively low, survivors may still contract these infections.
  • Pregnancy: Some survivors may become pregnant after a sexual assault. The actual risk for pregnancy with a rape is the same as for any one-time sexual encounter, an estimated 2% to 4%
  • Substance Abuse: Alcohol and drug use significantly increase after a sexual assault
If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted:

The most important thing to do immediately after a sexual assault is to ensure you are in a safe place. This could be a safe house, safe agency, or a safe public location:

  • Safe House:
    • Your home
    • Your relatives/parents home
    • Your friends or spouses home
  • Safe Agency:
    • Your local hospital
    • Your local police department
    • Your local school
    • Your local Domestic Violence Agency
  • A Safe Public Location:
    • A store
    • A restaurant
    • A library

It is a common reaction to try to clean your body after an assault. It is important to consider leaving your body as it is to preserve potential evidence. Try to avoid:

  • Washing your body or your clothing
  • Using the bathroom
  • Brushing your teeth or using mouthwash
  • Combing your hair
  • Eating or drinking
  • Consuming medication
  • Smoking

It is highly advised to go to your local hospital emergency room for immediate medical care.

Benefits of seeing medical attention (you can opt in or opt out of each of these options):

  • Receive care for injury
  • Receive pregnancy testing and prevention
  • Receive evidence collection
  • Receive advocacy and counseling services
  • Make a police report
  • Receive STI testing and prevention
SANE Program

We partner with area hospitals and health centers, to provide immediate advocacy for survivors of sexual assault who choose to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE) done.

Our partner hospitals and health centers call our 24-Hour Hotline when a survivor of a sexual crime arrives for a SANE. A Sexual Assault Victim Advocate from FRIENDS, Inc. responds immediately, arriving within 30 minutes of the report to provide crisis intervention and emotional support to the survivor during the examination process.

From arriving at the hospital to waiting for the examination to discharge, an advocate is alongside them throughout, providing emotional support and information on the resources available at FRIENDS Inc. and in the surrounding communities.

Victims of a sexual crime may choose to report the assault to law enforcement. Others might be unsure if they want to report to law enforcement right away and can call our 24-Hour Crisis Line (262-334-7298) to learn their options.

Local Area Hospitals:
  • Froedtert West Bend Hospital
  • Aurora Medical Center Washington County
  • Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital
  • Aurora Grafton Medical Center

Learn more about the Aurora SANE Program.
Learn more about the Froedert SANE Program.