Frequently Asked Questions
Will my information be kept confidential?
Yes. Anything you share with The Cottage staff will be kept private. The information will not be shared with anyone without your permission.
Will this cost money?
No. The Cottageís services are FREE.
I'm not sure if I was raped. Was this my fault?
If the sex was forced or coerced it was rape. If threats were made, it was rape. It does not matter if there were injuries or not. It does not matter if you didnít fight back. It does not matter if youíve had sex with the perpetrator before. It does not matter if you had been drinking alcohol or using substances. It does not matter if you had planned to have sex and then changed your mind. If sex was not consensual then it was rape.
What is Acquaintance Rape?
Acquaintance rape is when someone is forced into some sexual activity against their will by someone they know. The perpetrator could be a friend, date, neighbor, partner, spouse or someone youíve just met. Survivors may feel ashamed and may blame themselves. They may feel that they were somehow responsible, or that they should have been able to prevent the rape or should have seen it coming. There may be an inability to sleep, trust issues, health concerns. This can be very isolating for the survivor. Many survivors may never tell anyone. All of these reactions are common given what the survivor has been through. Acquaintance rape accounts for the majority of rape in society, by far.
I was molested in my childhood. Do you have services for me?
Yes. Many adults who were sexually abused in their childhood and/or adolescence reach out for help in their adulthood. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may carry this secret, never telling anyone. Some may have told someone but were told they were lying or told not to speak of it to anyone. Many survivors block the memory of abuse. Others remember but donít recognize the courage they showed as a child and the impact that the abuse still has on their lives. Our services are available to you.
I am adult now but I often wonder if what happened to me as a child/teen was sexual abuse.
Childhood sexual abuse includes any sexual contact with a child, including touching or fondling, oral, anal or vaginal penetration, using a child for sexual films or prostitution, and/or exposing a child to adult sexual activity, such a photographs or videos.
What is ďdate rapeĒ or drug and/or alcohol facilitated rape?
What if I think I was drugged?
Call local law enforcement immediately. These substances move through the body very quickly and a blood or urine sample should be taken as soon as possible. It is good to be truthful with law enfrocment about all drug and alcohol use during within the time period in question, even those ingested voluntarily, because this will play a part in lab procedures.
What is the most common "date rape" drug?
ALCOHOL. Why? Consuming alcohol, often in mass quantities is socially accepted. Unlike drugs, alcohol is a legal activity, if of age. And lastly, alcohol is usually voluntarily ingested. The perpetrator doesnít have to do anything except be in the right place at the right time.
How can I protect myself?
Listen to your instincts and your gut feeling- they are usually right. Donít trust people youíve just met. Even if they seem ďniceĒ, you donít know them well enough. Look out for your friends and stay with people that you know when you go somewhere. Get your own drinks. Do not accept drinks from others. Be assertive and direct about what you do and do not want to do. Take note of red flags, for example if someone if very touchy feely. Do they stop when you tell them to? Do they invade your personal space, testing boundaries? Do they ask you about sex and talk about things of a sexual nature, continuing even when you donít seem to respond? Do they seem eager to buy you drinks or use substances with you? Do they seem eager to give you a ride? These are just a few examples of ways to protect yourself. Keep in mind that perpetrators make the decision to rape and despite taking precautions rape can still happen. No matter what, it was not your fault.
Do you have services for males?
Yes. Contrary to some myths in society boys are sexually abused as children and men can be sexually assaulted in their adulthood. Our services are available to any person who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault at any point in their lives.
How can I help someone that I care about who has been sexually assaulted or raped?