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Common Questions

Can’t find something you’re wondering about? You can always call our helpline to find out more about our services and who we serve.


Was I sexually assaulted?

There are two parts to this question. You might be looking for a label to put on your experience, which is totally normal. But here at RCC we are much more concerned with how you feel. If a sexual experience made you feel uncomfortable, ashamed, or angry, it doesn’t really matter what we call it. We can still help you heal from it. On the other hand, if you are wondering whether you have a legal case against your attacker, you can get in touch with us and we can help walk you through the process of reporting your assault.


Can I still call if I’m not sure I was assaulted?

Yes. If you have ambivalent or negative feelings about a sexual encounter, it can be good to talk to a counselor even if you eventually decide the answer is “No.”


Do you serve men/nonbinary/trans people?

Yes. Our services are open to anyone who has experienced or been affected by an assault.


I think my friend might have raped someone. Do you provide services for him?

No. At this time RCC services are only designed to support victims and their families and friends.


Are RCC services confidential?

All services at the Rape Crisis Center are confidential. We may be required to make reports to law enforcement about disclosures of suicidal or homicidal intent.


What is a counselor/advocate and how are they different from other people involved in my case?

Rape Crisis Center counselor/advocates carry out a special role different from law enforcement and medical personnel. Their role is to offer the victim support and information about the process, including the available options in an investigation or medical exam, and appropriate referrals. They will never meet with law enforcement or medical personnel without the victim or the victim’s express permission. They will never tell you what decisions to make.


Is there a fee for services at the Rape Crisis Center?

All advocacy, support groups, and counseling services are provided by the Rape Crisis Center at no charge. There may be fees associated with some educational offerings (trainings, Chimera Self-Defense): please click here for more or contact our Education Coordinator at (608) 251-5126 or [email protected].

I’m under age 18. Is it really illegal for me to have sex with my boyfriend or girlfriend?

Legally, yes. 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 your age and your partner’s age, the crime could be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If both partners are under the age of 18, the law is written such that both partners could be prosecuted. Prosecution of these cases varies considerably throughout the state. You may still call our helpline if you want to talk about this, as long as you don’t give us your name, address, school, or other identifying information. Click here for more.

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.


What is the justice system’s process for prosecuting a perpetrator?

Click here 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 here to be directed to the Dane County District Attorney’s office for a description of crime victims’ rights.