Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County
61 Main Street
Wakefield, RI 02879
Court Advocacy Office: 401-782-4174
Definition of Sexual Assault: is any kind of sexual contact without consent.
Consent: is "yes" without force or power.
Force or power: includes emotional coercion, (bribes, pressuring, lying, tricks) implicit coercion, (social position, size/strength, age) verbal threats, physical force without a weapon or physical force with a weapon, or forcing one to view sexual acts or pornographic material.
Exceptions to consent: the age of consent in Rhode Island is 16. A person being mentally incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol or is incapable of understanding the nature of a sexual act due to a mental impairment cannot give consent.
Statistics: One (1) in three (3) women and one (1) in six (6) men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Most perpetrators are known and trusted to the victim which makes the abuse more confusing.
Remember: There is no "right" response to sexual violence. Sexual assault is a life-threatening situation and whatever you did to survive was the right thing to do. Remember, submitting to sexual violence is not the same thing as "consenting." Sexual violence is never the victim's fault and no one deserves to be sexually assaulted.
Medical Help: Every victim of sexual assault should receive immediate medical attention. Being seen by medical personnel does not mean you have to report the crime. There is a specific sexual assault examination that addresses your medical needs, as well as the collection of evidence that may be useful should you decide to report the crime and press charges (please do not take a shower or bathe). Also, you should consider being tested for pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS. Medical evidence can be collected up to 72 hours after an assault. There is no cost to the victim who has no insurance for the exam. The exam can be done at any hospital emergency room.
Police: Sexual assault is a crime. It is your decision whether or not to file a police report. If you decide to report the assault, the report should be filed with the police department in the city/town where the assault occurred, or with the State Police. A trained sexual assault crisis advocate can accompany you to the hospital and/or police station if you wish. The advocate is there to offer you support and answer your questions. Services are available regardless of whether or not you decide to report the assault to the police. An advocate is available through the 24-hour Victims of Crime Helpline at 1-800-494-8100.
Definition: Domestic Violence is a pattern of violent or dominant behaviors used by a partner to gain control of a relationship, and it goes far beyond physical injury.
Violation of law for: a spouse, intimate partner, ex-partner, or a family member to:
Police Responsibility: The police will respond to a domestic violence situation and if there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed; the officer shall arrest and take into custody the alleged perpetrator of the crime.
The alleged perpetrator will be brought before a bail commissioner or another officer of the court. A No-Contact Order (NCO) will be issued. The NCO means that the defendant may not contact you in person, by telephone, or by mail.
On the next business day, the defendant will be arraigned before a judge. The judge will schedule a second hearing (pretrial conference), usually within a few weeks, at which the defendant may change his/her plea to guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo contendere).
Victims: Domestic violence is something uncomfortable to talk about, and it is a hard pattern to escape, but it also something that can be stopped. It can happen to anyone, but it does not have to happen to you.
A temporary restraining order (TRO) is also available to victims of domestic violence at the Family or District Court (located at Fourth District Court-Washington County) whether or not there has been an arrest. A person may apply for a TRO if he/she has been a victim of physical violence or is in fear for their physical safety. If a TRO is approved, the perpetrator is served with the TRO and is not allowed to have any contact with the victim. A violation is an arrestable offense. Some people choose to have both a NCO and a TRO because a TRO can offer added protection by giving temporary custody of children to the victim; by ordering the perpetrator to pay temporary child support; and/or by ordering the perpetrator to vacate the home, if shared with the victim.
The Hopkinton Police want what is best for the victim and will help you get the help you need. 401-377-7750.