Sexual Violence


We are here to help. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please reach out to us.

Sexual violence includes:

  • Rape
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching
  • Sending unwanted text messages with sexually explicit images or messages
  • Exposure (masturbating or showing one’s genitals or naked body to other(s) without consent)
  • Voyeurism (watching someone in a private act without their knowledge or permission)

Survivors need a confidential, supportive environment to talk about the violence and the types of assistance available to help them. The Abused Adult Resource (AARC) offers these services. 

Sexual assault is NEVER the survivor’s fault, no matter what the circumstances. The AARC offers the following confidential services free of charge to survivors of sexual assault:  

24-hour crisis intervention and advocacy

Emergency shelter

Support groups

Referrals to counseling

Information and referrals for

  • food
  • clothing
  • furniture
  • medical care
  • educational training
  • financial assistance
  • social services

Community education/presentations

Rape Crisis Advocacy

As a part of a Sexual Assault Response Team, our advocates provide the information and support survivors need to deal with the crime of sexual assault/rape including assistance in

  • reporting the crime
  • completing the forensic examination
  • and any court-related matters.

Support Groups

8 week course held every spring and fall

Criminal Justice Assistance

Our certified domestic violence advocates assist survivors experiencing adult abuse(as defined under NDCC 14-07.1-01), with

  • the Protection Order application
  • courtroom advocacy
  • providing emotional support during the protection order hearing
  • follow-up and referral
  • assistance with crime victims compensation
  • and community education presentations.

What is a Sexual Assault Restraining Order?

Sexual Assault Restraining Orders are documents filed with the court system that, if granted, state that your abuser cannot contact you or be near you. Sexual Assault Restraining Orders do NOT mean that your abuser will be criminally charged, or that he/she will be immediately placed under arrest. He/she will not be arrested unless the order is violated after it has been served.

Who Can Request a Sexual Assault Restraining Order

According to the North Dakota Supreme Court website, any adult person that is a victim of sexual assault; or the parent, step-parent, or guardian of a minor child (under 18 years of age) who the parent, step-parent or guardian reasonably believes is a victim of sexual assault.

Sexual Assault Restraining Order Process

The victim (known as the “Petitioner”) completes the petition for the Protection Order and files it with the court. An advocate at the Abused Adult Resource Center (AARC) can help you with this. If the court finds that you are in immediate danger based on the information that was filed, they can issue a Temporary Protection Order.

A court hearing will be scheduled no later than 14 days after the temporary order is issued.  This hearing is held to determine whether or not the court will extend the Protection Order. This gives both the Petitioner and the Respondent a chance to say why the Protection Order should or should not be extended. You can request that a AARC advocate be present with you at this hearing for support. However, please keep in mind that we are not lawyers. If you wish to have a lawyer present, you must arrange this prior to the hearing.

Sexual Assault 

Sexual Assault is a crime in which the assailant uses sexual contact to inflict humiliation or to exert power and control over the victim. It is a crime of violence against a person’s inner most physical and psychological being. Sexual assault is any sexual activity in which a person is forced or coerced into without his/her consent. 

Sexual assault includes rape, marital rape, non-stranger/acquaintance rape, incest, and child sexual abuse. Most victims are assaulted by someone the victim already knows.  

Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault regardless of age, gender, race, socio-economic background, physical or mental ability, marital status, sexuality, or any other characteristic. 

If You Are Sexually Assaulted/Raped

First, go to a safe place immediately, then… 

  • Tell someone who will help and support you. Call a trusted friend, family member, and/or the AARC crisis line. Call 1-866-341-7009 to be connected to a crisis advocate for free and confidential assistance 24 hours/day.  They can offer options and help you identify what is best for you. 
  • If you think you might want to have a sexual assault examination, do your best to preserve evidence. Do NOT shower, bathe, eat, drink, wash your hands, or brush your teeth until after you have had the exam. Evidence can be collected up to 96 hours after the assault. This exam can be completed even if you choose not to file a police report. The SANE nurse can also treat you for STI/pregnancy. 
  • Seek medical care. Your safety and health is important. A doctor or nurse can check for injuries that may not be visible. Medical professionals are required by law to notify law enforcement. This does not mean you have to file a police report.  
  • Consider reporting the assault to the police. It is your choice to report the rape. For the quickest response, call 911. For investigative purposes, the sooner you report the rape the better. If you choose not to report the assault immediately, you can still do so at a later time. You may have a sexual assault exam to collect evidence even if you choose not to involve the police or file a report at this time. Evidence will be stored for you for at least seven years.
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