What Women Need to Know About Reporting Rape Case in California?

Rape is defined under the California Penal Code 261 PC. It occurs when an individual has non-consensual sexual intercourse with another person through force, fraud, or threats.  The statue highlights some situations that are considered as rape under the California rape laws. Some of the situations include –

·         The victim is unable to consent due to any mental disorder

·         The victims fail to consent due to intoxication

·         The intercourse occurs through violence, force or duress

·         The victim is unconscious during intercourse.

·         Reporting a Rape Case to the Enforcement

Whether or not you want to report law enforcement depends entirely on you. Often survivors say that reporting the crime has enabled us to recover a degree of control over their lives. Before you report a rape case, you should learn about how the whole process works.

Reporting a Sexual Assault Case

When it comes to reporting a sexual assault case, you have multiple options –

·         If you are facing an immediate danger, then you should call 911, and the help will reach you at the location

·         You can visit your local police to report the case.

·         Often colleges have law enforcement within the campus; you can contact them.

·         In the event of rape, you can visit the medical center and inform the medical professional that you want to report a case. You can undergo a forensic exam for sexual assault as well.

Time Limit for Reporting the Crime

The window of reporting any crime is referred to as a statute of limitations. This time limit varies on different factors that include state, crime type, victim age, etc. earlier statute of limitation of rape cases were set to 10 years. However, the California rape laws have now decided to prosecute rapists irrespective of when the crime has happened. This new law was passed after many women together came forward and accused Bill Cosby of sexual assaults. In 2016 the lawmakers pass a new rule where it eliminated the statute of limitations for sex and rape crimes.

The Contact Officials  

Typically, there are special officers who are trained to communicate with sexual assault or rape survivors.  Additionally, a majority of law enforcements undertake Sexual Assault Response Teams or SART, which focuses on a survivor-centric, organized response to the rape case. SARTs encompass law enforcement, medical personnel, and sexual assault service providers. These professionals together work to initiate the investigation, mitigate frequent interviews and questions, and manage communication among all the concerned agencies.

 

What is a Rape Kit?

Rape Kit basically contains the things required to conduct a sexual assault forensic exam. This exam can continue for hours based on a specific situation. If you are a rape victim, it is important that you take this exam within 72 hours of the incident, sooner if possible. The rape kit comprises items to collect the specimen, a comb, cotton swabs, forms, containers to collect blood and urine samples.

How Should I Prepare for this Exam?

After the incident of assault, head directly to the medical center and do not do the following things –

·         Change clothes

·         Take a shower

·         Comb your hair

·         Clean the assault area

·         Use the restroom

It is understandable that you would want to get clean after such a traumatizing experience. However, these are some acts that can hinder the evidence that will help you make the case. Rape cases are extremely complex and sensitive; therefore, it is important to get an experienced and reliable attorney. He or she could guide you through the process and help you get the justice you deserve.

 

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