What to Do After A Sexual Assault: Know Your Rights as a Victim of Sexual Assault in Texas



**If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Go to your closest emergency room.

If you are no longer in immediate danger, the first step you must take after a sexual assaulted is to go to the closest hospital emergency room. Any person who has been sexually assaulted in the state of Texas has the right to receive emergency care at no cost to them, even without insurance. It is important that the victim of the sexual assault does not change clothes, it is also important not to shower or take a bath before visiting the emergency room. If the victim changes clothes before going to the hospital, bring the clothes that were worn at the time of the assault to the emergency room.

Once you arrive at the hospital emergency room, inform a nurse or medical staff of why you are there. It is often helpful not to do this alone, bringing a trusted friend or family member with you to provide support can be helpful. Be prepared to stay for at least a couple of hours once you arrive at the hospital.

Complete a SAFE examination and receive necessary treatment.

Hospitals retain specially trained nurses and doctors to ensure victims of sexual assault are treated with compassion. These specially trained healthcare professionals will perform a confidential sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE). This exam is voluntary, but it is crucial to help understand the extent of the injuries resulting from the assault. In addition to identifying injuries, the SAFE collects and preserves evidence that can be used in future criminal proceeding. Victims will be assigned a sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) who will coordinate and manage victim care throughout the investigation and into recovery. The SARC will have resources for the victim to help address continued care, criminal proceedings, and mental health counseling after assault.

Seek legal help.

All Victims of sexual assault are entitled to bringing criminal charges against their perpetrator. The SARC will help you speak with police and move forward in pressing charges against your perpetrator. You may also be entitled to a civil remedy for the wrongs committed against you, such as compensation for physical injuries and mental anguish sustained from the attack. If you believe the negligence of a person or business (bar, club, hotel, apartment complex, etc.) was one of the causes of the sexual assault, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884. We will review your case for free, and help you navigate your next steps. You have the right to seek justice after an assault, and we can help you do that.