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FOR SURVIVORS


 

What Constitutes Sexual Assault:

Sexual assault is defined as behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. The definition of sexual assault includes sexual activities such as fondling, forced sexual intercourse, attempted rape, forcible sodomy, child molestation, and incest.

Being victimized by sexual assault can be a very traumatic experience, and it is important to know that each person copes with the victimization in his or her own way. Reactions may be delayed by days, weeks, months, and even years. If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to understand that there is not a set timeframe for reaction. Some of the emotions you may experience include feelings of anger, guilt, shame, insecurity, fear, powerlessness and/or depression. Rest assured that you are not alone in this process and that the State of Nevada is committed to your recovery. Victim Advocates are here to help you through this process, and law enforcement agents will guide you through the criminal justice process. We hope you will come to realize that you are a survivor.

For more information on Nevada's sexual assault statutes, refer to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 200.364-200.3785 

 

Is There a Time Limit on Reporting to the Police?

In Nevada, the statute of limitations for adults reporting a sexual assault is 20 years. If an adult makes a written report to a police department, there are NO limitations for when charges may be filed. For more information, refer to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 171.083 and 171.085 . Minors reporting a sexual assault to the police are governed by a different statute of limitations which can be found under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 171.095 

 

What Rights am I Entitled to?                

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Enacted in October of 2004, this act applies to victims nationwide. Under this act, victims of crime have the right:

• To be reasonably protected from the accused.  

• To reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any court proceeding or any parole proceeding involving the crime, or of any release or escape of the accused. 

• To not be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.

• To confer with the attorney for the government in the case.

• To full and timely restitution as provided in law.

• To proceedings free from unreasonable delay.

• To be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

• To be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement.

• To be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.  

 

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The 1983 Nevada Legislature mandated certain rights and guarantees to crime victims and witnesses under this bill. Accordingly, Chapter 178 of the Nevada Revised Statutes recognizes the following needs and rights of crime victims. Under this bill, victims of crime have the right:

• To know the status of the case in which you are involved.

• To be free from intimidation or dissuasion.

• To know when your impounded property may be released.

• To receive a witness fee for lawful obedience to a subpoena.

• To understand the existing victim compensation laws and receive compensation if applicable.

• To secure waiting area, which is not available to the defendant or his or her family, when you are in court.

• To know when the defendant is released from custody before or during trial (upon written request).

• To know when the offender is released from prison (upon written request).

 

How Do I Know if My Case is Part of This Initiative?

If you were the victim of a sexual assault in Nevada between 1985 and 2015, and you participated in a medical forensic examination where evidence was collected from your body, your case may be a part of this initiative. If so, you will be contacted by a local law enforcement agency in receipt of your sexual assault kit. If you are a survivor with an existing case, you may contact the police department in the city where the sexual assault occurred to inquire about the status of your kit. Asking for the detective or prosecutor assigned to your case is a  good place to start. If you have any other helpful information such as a police report, court case or tracking number associated with your case, please keep these numbers for future reference, as they may be helpful points of reference for status updates. Please visit the "Resources" tab for more information and assistance. 

  

What Can I Expect If My Case is Part of This Initiative?

We recognize that this process may be a long and sensitive one for all involved. We want to assure you that the State of Nevada is dedicated to a "victim-centered" approach to justice, where the victim is prioritized and the focus of all decisions regarding the recovery and criminal justice process. Law enforcement and/or prosecution will provide you with information about the results of your investigation and access to supportive services to assist you. Ultimately, law enforcement and/or prosecution may contact you to discuss your options for moving forward with a potential case, and will respect your decision about whether to participate in prosecution.

  

Tips for Self-Care:

Self-care is critical for your physical, emotional and mental well-being, and an important part of the recovering from trauma and maintaining healthy relationships. Below are a few self-care tips that may be helpful to you.

 

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