Post-assault treatment of sexual assault victims  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

After a sexual assault or rape, victims are often subjected to scrutiny and, in some cases, mistreatment. Victims undergo medical examinations and are interviewed by police. If there is a criminal trial, victims suffer a loss of privacy and their credibility may be challenged. Victims may also become the target of slut-shaming, abuse, social stigmatization, sexual slurs and cyberbullying.

Various laws have been created with a motive to protect victims. During criminal proceedings, publication bans and rape shield laws protect victims from excessive public scrutiny. Laws may also prohibit defence lawyers from obtaining a victim's medical, psychiatric or therapeutic records. Statutory rape laws set the age of legal consent for sexual activity and prohibits perpetrators from alleging the victim consented to the activity. Victims in some jurisdictions can seek damages from police and institutions if warnings were not issued. Numerous victims' rights groups operate to improve the treatment of victims.

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