Definition of a Victim
A sexual assault victim is one who has been misled or threatened into a sexual activity by means of coercion or power by the assailant. Victims can be male, female or transgender, adults or children. The Rape Crisis Center has provided services to victims of all ages for 37 years.
What is Sexual Assault?
The term "sexual assault" is used as a blanket term that refers to a number of sexually related forms of victimization. This term includes all types of sexual offenses that involve touching or penetration of an intimate part of a person's body without consent (LeBeau and Mozayani 2001). Thus, sexual assault includes rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, and any form of undesired sexually related touching.
Rights of the Victim *
- The right to confer with the prosecution.
- The right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
- The right to be present at all proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.
- The right to be heard, when relevant, at all critical stages of the criminal justice process as defined by statute.
- The right to be informed of all proceedings and the release, transfer, escape or recapture of the accused or convicted person.
- The right to a speedy trial or disposition and a prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction or sentence.
- The right to restitution from the offender.
- The right to be informed of each of the rights established for victims.
* from the Amendment of Article 1, of the State of Tennessee Constitution
For questions or to learn more about victim rights, please call the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center at (901) 222-4350. In an emergency, please call 9-1-1.