Sexual Assault is a violent crime, an invasion and a frightening experience. Rape, sodomy, sexual battery, and attempts to commit these crimes are a few types of sexual assault offenses. Forced, unwanted sexual contact against an adult or a child, is a crime.
Sometimes these assaults are committed by strangers, sometimes by people known to the victim, and sometimes by family members. Sexual assault can occur as a part of other criminal acts, such as domestic violence and stalking. Sexual assault can also occur in retirement communities by other residents and/or staff.
Victims are often the only witnesses to whom the criminal justice system may look in trying to apprehend and appropriately handle such offenders.
Reporting the assault to the local law enforcement agency and commonwealth's attorney (prosecutor) can be an important step toward preventing more sexual assaults by the same offender.
You are VERY IMPORTANT! As the victim, you are the primary witness and, therefore, the most important part of the case. Without your assistance, it would be almost impossible to convict the offender. Criminal justice personnel realize how difficult it is for you to go through law enforcement interviews, medical procedures, and court appearances, and they appreciate your cooperation. With your help, they are protecting both your interests and those of the community. We hope this information helps you understand the procedures you may go through and makes this difficult experience less confusing and frustrating.
An Informational Guide for Sexual Assault Victims in Virginia helps citizens of Virginia understand the emotional impact of a sexual assault, as well as the medical, police, and court procedures that a victim may experience, and decisions that will need to be made. It also includes information about your rights as a crime victim.