What is a counselor/advocate and how are they different from other people involved in my case?
A Rape Crisis Center counselor/advocate carries out a special role different from law enforcement and medical personnel. A Rape Crisis Center counselor/advocate's main purpose is to support the victim. Their role is to offer support and information to victims about the process and options available in an investigation or medical exam. The counselor/advocate will never meet with law enforcement or medical personnel without the victim or the victim's expressed permission. Counselor/advocates from the Rape Crisis Center provide information and referral to victims to help in their decision making. Rape Crisis Center counselor/advocates will never tell you what decisions to make.
Are services confidential?
All services at the Rape Crisis Center are confidential. If you are under the age of 18, you should be aware that the Rape Crisis Center follows the guidelines of Mandated Reporting laws, which require us to make reports to the Department of Human Services about suspected cases of child sexual abuse. Clients of any age should be aware that we are also required to make reports to law enforcement about disclosures of suicidal or homicidal intent.
What is the Criminal Court Process?
Click on this link to be directed to the Dane County District Attorney's office description of the criminal court process.
What are my rights as a crime victim?
Click on this link to be directed to the Dane County District Attorney's office for a description of crime victims' rights.
Is there a fee for services at the Rape Crisis Center?
No. All advocacy, support group, and counseling services are provided by the Rape Crisis Center at no charge.
I'm under age 18. Is it really illegal for me to have sex with my boyfriend or girlfriend?
Wisconsin's law on child sexual assault is written to make any sexual intercourse, and depending on age, most sexual contact, with a person under the age of 18 a crime (s.948).
Depending on the age of the child, the crime can either be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor. If both partners are under the age of 18, the law is written that both partners could be prosecuted. Prosecution of these cases varies considerably throughout the state.
Will the person who sexually assaulted me go to jail?
Sexual assault is a serious crime. If you choose to report your assault to law enforcement, the District Attorney's office decides if there is enough evidence to bring charges against the assailant. If convicted, it is possible that the assailant could receive a jail or prison sentence. Contact the Rape Crisis Center if you would like to talk with a counselor/advocate about the possible outcomes of filing a police report.
Where is your office located?