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While we can’t change rampant sexism within the justice system, we can try to ensure that every possible piece of evidence gets preserved for court. The perpetrator’s DNA, which can be found on the clothes worn by the survivors when the assault took place, is a piece of the puzzle that could serve as crucial evidence in a legal fight for justice. A few very important measures can be taken to make sure that enough DNA evidence is preserved:

measure #01

Do not wash the clothes you were wearing when the assault took place. There might be hair, blood or semen on the clothes that can be used as evidence.

measure #02

Keep the clothes in a paper bag. A plastic bag might lead to the degradation of the DNA evidence.  

measure #03

Immediately take the paper bag with the clothes to the nearest medical or police station to report the attack.  

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It is estimated that only 9% of rapists are prosecuted, and only 3% spend time in prison. 97% of rapists walk free.

World Population Review (2023)

Less than 40% of survivors seek help, and only 10% report the crime to the police.

World Population Review (2023)

The reluctance to report assaults leads to a very high number of unreported

World Population Review (2023)

58 % of survivors never report the assault because they fear that nobody believes them.

Amnesty International

57 % of survivors fear that reporting the crime will make things worse.

Amnesty International

An estimated 50% of transgender people and one in every five women experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. 

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, National Violence Sexual Assault Center

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The most important thing is that you feel safe and that you have a person you trust by your side. What you’re experiencing is traumatic and you shouldn’t have to go through this trauma alone. Ideally, you should get a medical examination within the first 48 hours to treat injuries and rule out potential health risks such as HIV or pregnancy. The medical examination is also a crucial part of securing evidence (traces of sperm and DNA). But don’t feel pressured: You can still decide later on whether you would like to file charges. If you do decide to report the crime and file charges and if you identify as female, you have the right to insist on having a female officer in the room while you make the statement.

If the police officers in your country believe they have “grounds to doubt” your stated gender, they should record that they are ignoring your stated preference and the reasons why. This record can be important for any legal challenge you want to make later. Unfortunately, in most countries, if you are non-binary, this isn’t explicitly recognized in most police conduct legislation, so you should state the gender you would prefer to be treated as.  

Lastly, if you feel guilt or shame: Please don’t. You did not give your consent. The person who did this to you – whether it was a partner, husband, family member or stranger – committed a crime.

For those living in New York, call the New York Coalition Against Sexual Aussault's (NYCASA) at 1-800-942-6906 for help.

Click here to access additional resources for survivors.

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Follow us on social media @tags_against_crime and help us push the conversation forward. You can also donate any amount you wish to the New York Coalition Against Sexual Assault, DAO or Stiftung gegen Gewalt an Frauen und Kindern.


Their mission is to help survivors of sexual assault attain justice.

Logo DAOLogo: Stifung gegen Gewalt an Frauen und Kindern.


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If you’re a fashion label and you want to support this cause, take a pledge. Include Tags Against Crime in your collection.

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