Sexual Assault Information
What is the difference between sexual assault and rape?
There is no difference. Sexual assault and rape refer to sexual intercourse against the will of another person. However, under Texas law, "sexual assault," is the legal term used to define and prosecute not consensual sexual acts. Consenting sex requires sober and verbal communication without intimidation or threats.
What is date rape?
Acquaintance assault, commonly known as "date rape," occurs when someone you know forces you to have sexual intercourse against your will.
What can you do if you have been raped?
- Go to a safe place
- Call someone you trust to be with you
- Call the local or campus police
- Don't shower, bathe or douche after the attack
- Seek care at a hospital
- Preserve other physical evidence such as clothing
- Consider filing charges against your attacker
How can the Windcrest Police Department help me if I am a victim?
Reporting an assault DOES NOT mean that the victim MUST press charges or take the case to criminal trial. After the assault has occurred, the Windcrest Police Department will take you to the hospital and will arrange for a rape crisis counselor to be with you at all stages of the investigation. If you prefer anonymity, the Windcrest Police Department can report the crime under a pseudonym and the crime will be prosecuted without revealing your name.
Even if a victim has not decided whether to press charges, calling the police and going to the hospital will allow for his/her emotional or medical needs to be cared for and will preserve the option of the victim to press charges.
Remember: Sexual assault is a crime and victims should NOT feel ashamed about the actions of a rapist. If you feel victimized, talking with a counselor or friend can help you understand your feelings. You don't have to be alone.
If you know someone who has been a victim of rape, you may notice that the person seems to act differently; withdrawn, afraid or unsure. They may feel angry or upset.
What Can You Do?
- Listen. A good counselor or friend knows how to listen and not speak. Concentrate your energy and attention on their feelings, not your own.
- Try not to judge. "If I had been in your situation, I would have..." "Why did you go in there?"
- Avoid "fixing" your friend. Help your friend make a list of options and let her/him decide what to do (even if you don't agree with it).
- Don't rush the healing process just to make yourself more comfortable. People need time to heal. Be patient.
- Encourage your friend to seek help from a counselor where the services are professional, confidential and free (i.e.: Counseling and Mental Health Center, San Antonio Rape Crisis Center). As a loved one of a rape survivor, you may also desire counseling and advice.
What Is Megan's Law?
On Friday July 29, 1994, seven year old Megan Nicole Kanka disappeared. With the promise of a puppy, her neighbor lured her into his home where he raped, strangled and suffocated her. Her body was stuffed into a plastic toy chest and dumped in a nearby park. Megan had been killed by a twice convicted child sex offender who lived across the street from the Kanka home and was sharing his house with two other convicted sex offenders he met in prison.
Megan's Law was enacted on May 17th, 1996. Megan's Law mandates that a county be notified of child sex offenders residing there and residents have access to that information.
This brutal attack is what prompted the first local-state legislation and what is attributed for the federal involvement in creating the law now referred to as Megan's Law. This legislation was a landmark event and was a great move forward toward securing the protection of our children.
Sex Offender Registry
View the Sex Offender Registry on the Unites States Department of Justice website provided by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART)
The Windcrest Police Department hopes to gain the trust and respect of sexual assault victims by offering this guarantee that emphasizes privacy, sensitivity and understanding. The following is a list of your rights:
- We will meet with you privately
- We will not release your name to the public or the press. In addition, whether or not you choose to press charges, you have the right under Texas law to use a pseudonym for all aspects of the investigation
- Our officers will not judge you and you will not be blamed for what occurred
- We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism
- If you feel more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request
- If treatment is required, we will drive you to a hospital
- We will assist you in privately contacting rape crisis, counseling, and other available resources
- We will fully investigate your case and will help you to achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the investigation
- We will continue to be available for you, to answer your questions, explain the systems and processes involved, and be a willing listener
- We will consider your case seriously, regardless of your gender or the gender of the suspect