334 Rape and Sexual Assault
What to Do
if You Have
➤ Do not blame
yourself. You did not
deserve to be raped.
There was nothing
you did that made
it right for a man to
force sex on you.
Every woman’s experience with rape is different. But there
are a few things you need to do to help yourself recover.
First, ask yourself these questions:
• Who can you ask for help?
• Do you want to tell the police about the rape?
• Where can you go for medical care?
• Do you want to try to punish the rapist?
You need someone to talk to when you feel sad, hurt,
scared, or angry, to go with you for medical care, and to help
you figure out what to do. Choose someone who cares about
you, who you trust will not tell others, and who is strong and
dependable. Sometimes a woman’s husband or parents are
too upset themselves to be able to give much support.
If someone you know has been raped
I believe you.
It’s not your
fault. I will
• Reassure her that it is not her fault.
• Be supportive. Listen to her feelings, help
her decide what she needs, and reassure
her that she can go on with her life (see
• Respect her wishes for privacy and safety.
Do not tell anyone else unless she wants
• Go with her to see a health worker, to
report the rape to the police, to talk
with someone who is trained to listen
and support her, to see a lawyer, and to
go to court if she wants to do those things.
• Do not protect the rapist if you know him.
He is a danger to every woman in the
The decision to use the law must be made carefully.
• Can someone go with you to talk to the police?
• Has the law helped other women in your community who
have been raped?
• Do you want the rape to remain private? Can the police
keep others from learning about the rape?
• Did the rapist threaten to hurt you more if you reported
• If the rapist is caught and you can prove that he raped
you, how will he be punished?
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012