Sexual Assault is any sexual contact made through:
• Force - pushing, pinning down, strangulation
• Threats - a weapon is present or your life/family are threatened
• Trickery – drugs, alcohol, or lies are used and you are unable to resist
• Manipulation - use of pressure or guilt “You can’t stop, I am too excited”
• Coercion - use of bribes or blackmail “I’ll tell the teacher you were drinking if you don’t”
Rape is not a punishment for sneaking out, underage drinking, or dressing a certain way. Rape is never a punishment. Sexual Assault is a felony and you have the right to report the crime to law enforcement if you choose.
Did I consent?
There are 3 big questions that must be answered before sexual consent can be given. If even one of these issues occurred, then you have the right to report and get help.
If you are under 16, the other person has authority over you (such as a coach, teacher, or boss) and you are under 18, or a teen with more than four years age difference, you cannot legally give consent.
If you were asleep or passed out when it happened, drunk, using drugs, or you think you were drugged or have a guardian who makes decisions for you, you cannot give consent.
If you didn’t want sex and you were clear about it, thought you wanted sex, but changed your mind and said no or tried to shut the situation down when you became uncomfortable, but were ignored, you did not give consent.
What are my options?
Three of the most common options* are:
1. Report to Law Enforcement, receive a forensic exam and medical care
2. Report Anonymously, receive a forensic exam and medical care
3. Access medical care through the ER or a medical provider
Only you can decide what the best choice is for you, but STAR can help you understand your options along the way.
*If you are under 18 or are considered a vulnerable adult, a report MUST be made regarding your safety. All of STAR’s staff are mandated reporters, and if you provide any identifying information and disclose your age, a report will be made to the Office of Children’s Services or Adult Protective Services.
Within the Municipality of Anchorage, adults have the option to receive a medical/forensic exam without making a report to law enforcement. As an anonymous victim, your healthcare needs will be addressed and any evidence collected will be preserved while you have time to think about whether you want to report to law enforcement. If you choose to report the crime to law enforcement at a later date, you will need to sign a consent form provided by the forensic nurse. Once you open the report to law enforcement, the police will need to interview you, and may contact the suspect and witnesses to interview them.
Access Medical Care
If you do not report to law enforcement or anonymously, often it is a good idea to seek medical care to make sure you are okay. A medical exam can help check for possible injuries, provide medication to prevent pregnancy and to conduct pregnancy testing, test for and treat sexually transmitted infections, talk about the effect of sexual assault on your well-being (effects can include feeling depressed or suicidal, disrupting eating or sleeping patterns or levels of anxiety), and provide a medical certificate if you need time off.
Who can help me?
There are many agencies and services available to you if a sexual assault or years of abuse have occurred. The STAR Crisis Line is available 24/7 at (907) 276-7273 or (800) 478-8999 and can provide: -Confidential support from a trained responder -Explanation of reporting options -Someone to listen to your experience in a judgment free space -Support finding a local health facility that is trained to care for survivors of sexual assault and offers services like pregnancy and STI testing -Support finding local resources that can assist with your next steps toward healing and recovery -Can connect you with a highly trained advocates who can provide screening and referrals for long term support, information about the laws in your community, and basic information about medical concerns If you are located outside of Anchorage, please click the button below to get connected with your local agency.
Counseling Services and Referrals
STAR’s Counselor provides free therapy services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse who do not have access through any other means (for example, if someone has no health insurance or counseling coverage). Counseling at STAR is a brief model of therapy – usually 8-10 sessions. It is trauma-focused and geared toward crisis stabilization.
Legal Advocacy Services
STAR Advocates are available to assist you with criminal, civil and family law issues. While Advocates are not attorneys and cannot offer legal advice, they are a valuable resource as you clarify your needs, become familiar with your rights, and determine action plans.
STAR can also provide information regarding:
Compensation for You
Pro-Bono Family Law Interventions
Help Finding An Attorney
how you can help
Learn the Facts: and Understand the risk. Realities - not trust - should influence your decision regarding children.
Minimize Opportunity: Eliminate or reduce one adult/one child situations.
Talk About It: Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking about it.
Stay Alert: Don't expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused.
Make a Plan: Learn where to go, whom to call, and how to react. Act on your suspicions: The future well being of a child is at stake.
Get Involved: Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.