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Rape Crisis Center FAQs

There is not a statute of limitations for rape in Alabama occurring after June of 1985. Local law enforcement/sex crimes detectives can help with answering this question for sexual assaults occurring before June of 1985.

  • Specially trained to handle sexual assault cases, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are available 24 hours a day at USA Children’s and Women's Hospital in Mobile, AL. If you have been assaulted, a forensic exam can be performed and evidence collected up to 120 hours after the assault, but preferably within 72 hours. Victim participation is at the discretion of the victim while at the hospital. A victim may decline any and all parts of the exam. and choose whether to report to law enforcement. Trained volunteer advocates will meet you at the hospital.
  • Evaluation Center at
    USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital
    1700 Center Street
    Mobile, AL 36604

Yes, some survivors of sexual violence go months or years without reporting their rape or seeking medical attention. Individuals often contact Rape Crisis when they decide to seek help in dealing with their assault.

No, you do not! If you do not want to report a sexual assault to law enforcement at the hospital during a forensic examination, you can request a Jane/John Doe kit. Jane/John Doe kits allow for anonymous collection and storage of forensic evidence. These kits will remain at the hospital in case a victim/survivor later decides that they want to pursue their case. Victim/survivors do NOT have to report to law enforcement to receive services from a sexual assault nurse examiner and the Rape Crisis Center.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Jane/John Doe kits are not tested by DFS unless a police report is made. Completed kits are kept at the hospital in case a victim/survivor later decides to file a police report. However, hospitals are not always able to keep Jane/John doe kits forever, so be sure to check in with the Rape Crisis Center if it has been a while and you are thinking about reporting.

If a victim/survivor decides they would like to legally pursue their case, they can contact local law enforcement or the Rape Crisis Center for further information and assistance.

Our 24-hour hotline is answered by trained staff and volunteer advocates of the Rape Crisis program. With each call, the needs of the caller are assessed and appropriate referrals are made. Rape Crisis offers direct services to sexual assault victims and their families 24/7, delivering counseling, support groups, hospital and court presence, advocacy, community education, training for law enforcement, medical and social service personnel.

If you are planning to go to the hospital for a sexual assault forensic examination it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • If you can, go to the hospital as soon after the assault as possible. Forensic examinations can be conducted up to 120 hours after an assault, however possible forensic evidence can be lost over time even within this window.
  • If possible, do not change clothes, shower, go to the bathroom, brush teeth, smoke, eat, or drink after an assault until after the kit has been completed. These activities can potentially have an effect on evidence collection.

Important Note: You can still get a kit done even if you have done the above activities if you are within the 120-hour window.

Our rape crisis line is 24/7! You can call 251-473-7273 to speak with an advocate anytime.

The rape crisis line is confidential; however, all advocates are mandated reporters, which means we must report any cases of suspected physical, verbal, sexual and psychological abuse, neglect or exploitation, coercion, reprisal or intimidation of victims who are protected by DHR. Those protected include children and elderly or disabled adults.

We are here to help, not get anyone in trouble! There will be times when we can talk with minors and there be no need to make any reports to DHR, but it is always important to remember that all advocates are mandated reporters so we cannot promise complete confidentiality.

Call local law enforcement, an ambulance, or the Rape Crisis Center for a Lyft ride.
Important note: an ambulance ride is not guaranteed to be free to the victim/survivor.

Where a sexual assault occurs determines which law enforcement agency will handle a case, but that doesn’t not mean the Rape Crisis Center cannot provide services to folks whose assault happened outside of Mobile, Clarke, or Washington County. However, there might be available resources closer to a victim/survivor’s residence that they’d prefer to access. An advocate can help navigate services in and outside of Mobile.

  • We try to offer as many free services as possible to victims/survivors. Contact a local advocate if you have questions or concerns.
  • You can apply for other financial compensation through the Alabama Crime Victims' Compensation Commission

 

No! Lifelines Counseling Services and the Rape Crisis Center serve all individuals no matter gender expression or identity. Any one can be affected by sexual violence, so we will do our best to assist and support all victim/survivors who seek our services.