Responding to gender-based violence
Here are a list of things you can consider doing if you have faced Gender-based Violence. 1. Get to safety. Call on a trusted friend or a trusted family member if you feel the need to have someone around you. 2. If you feel comfortable reporting the crime right away, notify the police right away, and report the crime with all the details you can offer up. 3. Record all the physical evidence of the attack. 4. Do not shower, bathe, douche your body, eat or drink, or brush your teeth until you have had a medical examination. 5. Take pictures of your injuries, and make sure that your pictures are taken with your face visible in it. Take one picture with the injury and the face, and a second picture zooming in on the injury. 6. Save the clothing you wore during the attack – place each item into a separate paper bag (avoid plastic at all cost). 7. Get medical care right away if you have injuries. Even if you don’t have any injuries that you can see, get a medical examination done anyway, so that you can rule out any STDs or internal injuries. Moreover, a medical examination report is a significant element in the evidence. 8. If you feel like you’ve been given a drug or intoxicated by any external drug, offer up a urine sample for testing. Most drugs are detectable in the urine more often than in the blood stream. 9. Make all the notes you can possibly remember on the circumstances of the assault. Try to put down a description of your assailant in as much detail as you can recollect. This can be a traumatic exercise, so make sure that you do this in the company of someone who cares for and supports you. 10. You could consider maintaining a picture/word journal with every instance when you were abused. So, if you have been called names, been hit, or faced any other form of abuse, make sure that everything is included in there with the date, and if possible, time of day. This way there is a record of each event. 11. Talk to a counsellor or a therapist who is trained to assist survivors of sexual violence. Counselling can help you cope with the emotional and physical impact of the assault.