Have I Been Victimized?
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is coerced or forced to engage, or any non-consensual sexual interaction, and this includes physical, verbal, or digital (computer/phone) interaction. Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence, and it includes rape, groping, forced kissing, sexual harassment, and other sexual acts. Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, race, income level, sexual orientation, ability and/or lifestyle. Consent should be enthusiastic and given each time sexual activity occurs.
Sex without your consent is rape. It is illegal. It is wrong.
There is no right or wrong way to feel after being sexually assaulted. People are different and they deal with trauma in many ways. Know that these reactions are normal and can diminish with time.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is often referred to as modern slavery. The victims are forced to provide labor and/or commercial sex against their will. Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, and other manipulative tactics to trap victims every day.
All trafficking victims share one essential experience – the loss of freedom.
Sex trafficking can take place in any community using businesses including fake massage parlors, escort services, residential brothels, in public on city streets and in truck stops, strip clubs, hostess clubs, hotels and motels, and elsewhere.
In cases of sex trafficking, individuals who buy commercial sex (Johns) provide the demand and profit incentive for traffickers. Many buyers of commercial sex are unaware, ill-informed, or in denial of the abusive realities of commercial sex. When sex trafficking is present, victims are often subjected to violence, threats, controlling behaviors, false promises, lies, and manipulation perpetrated by their traffickers.
For more information contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States.
What is Stalking?
We define stalking as a course of behavior/actions directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Please do not romanticize this behavior! Stalking is serious, traumatizing, and stats show that many times stalking escalates into physical violence.
Follow you and show up at your location (i.e. house, workplace, classroom, etc.)
Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails (often with negative intent)
Damage your home, car, or other property
Monitor your phone calls or computer use
Use technology, like hidden cameras or GPS, to track where you go. Other actions that control and track you.
Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work
Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets
Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers
Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth
If you or a loved one is being stalked contact your local sexual assault center for help or call our helpline. If there is immediate danger, call 911.
For more detailed information regarding stalking contact The Stalking Resource Center.
The SRC is committed to continuing its national effort to promote awareness, action, and advocacy to enhance victim safety and hold stalking offenders accountable.
What is Online Abuse & Revenge Porn?
Online sexual abuse can be any type of sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse that takes place through screens.
Forms of online sexual harassment or abuse:
Sending someone hateful or unwelcome comments based on sex
Sending unwanted requests to partners or strangers to send nude photos or videos or livestream sexual acts.
Performing sexual acts on webcam without the consent of everyone involved or in inappropriate settings (like during an online work meeting).
Sharing private images or videos without the consent of everyone involved, also known as revenge porn, which is illegal.
Sharing porn in spaces where everyone has not consented to view it (like in Zoom meetings or other inappropriate places, also called Zoom bombing).
Grooming children to enable their sexual abuse either online or offline.
Just because these forms of sexual abuse take place behind a screen doesn’t make their impact on the victim any less real. While some of these behaviors are crimes, particularly any that involve sexual abuse of children, others are just as harmful. Additionally, as images of abuse could be reshared and recirculated on the internet, there is an added layer of revictimization.
If you feel that you've had any experiences described on this page, know that we are here for you. Please reach out to our Helpline or our office or the center in your parish. Know you are important and we can help with questions you have moving forward.