On February 19th, 2015, the Sexual Assault Prevention workshop was held at Valencia’s East Campus by Rhonda Wilson. She began speaking about what sexual assault entails which includes rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, stalking, etc. She also spoke about the reactions people have after being sexually assaulted that includes immediate reactions in a five day period such as crying, shaking, laughter due to shock, and denial. Long-term reactions are fear of being alone or in the dark, trouble sleeping, depression, fear of sex, trust issues, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, etc.
Many individuals are sexually assaulted daily, but not all are reported for several reasons such as fear of not being believed, distrust of law enforcement, self-blame and shame. Other reasons include fear of retaliation of perpetrator or they can not because it was their brother/sister-in-law or my bosses husband/boyfriend. When reporting sexual assault it can be by the victim, family, friends, ER staff or law enforcement. If they are 18 or older the hospital needs permission from the victim to call the police, but if they are younger it is mandatory for the hospital to call law enforcement.
The hotline for Victim Service Center of Central Florida is (407)-497-6701. It is a 24/7 service where counselors will be on the line with you for any questions, support, or therapy you need. You will not have to repeat your story if you spoke about it on the hotline because the same person will be with you throughout the process. They will help you with anything you need such as providing you new clothes, taking any evidence if you want it, and supplying a rape kit. Also, you have a confidentiality privilege where nothing will be shared unless their is written consent to disclose they information; threats to harm one or others, and suspicion of child abuse, elderly, or a disable adult.
April is sexual assault awareness month, so follow VSC on all social networks and support the cause. This is a common and serious cause especially throughout the Central Florida area. Visit their website victimservicecenter.org and follow their Facebook VSCflorida as well as their twitter and instagram @vscflorida.