Sexual assault is forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact. It includes rape, child sexual abuse, same-sex assault, acquaintance rape, harassment and marital rape. The perpetrator uses sex to inflict physical and emotional violence and humiliation on the victim, or to exert power and control over the victim.
It is important to get medical care after a sexual assault as soon as possible. You may have injuries you don’t know about or your injuries may be worse than you think. You may also be at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unintended pregnancy. Healthcare providers can examine you for injuries and provide treatment for STIs. In some cases, you can also get medication that will prevent STIs or pregnancy. Keeping your body healthy is an important part of healing from the assault.
Federal law requires that sexual assault victims must be able to receive a forensic exam without paying for it. In Nebraska, the responding law enforcement agency is responsible for paying for the exam, including the emergency room visit, evidence collection and kit. You or your insurance could be billed for expenses related to treatment such as medications for injury or infection (e.g. pain killer, antibiotics), x-rays, MRIs, or a doctor’s fee that is billed separately from the hospital and not covered by law enforcement.