When you have been sexually assaulted
Sexual assault and rape is very common and one can get pregnant. Some folks say it is difficult to get pregnant when one is raped as one’s body freezes. This is untrue, rape and sexual assault can be different for different persons. One can also not give consent if one is using substances, drugs or alcohol. It is often difficult to know what to do after experiencing sexual assault and while one can access post exposure prophylaxis in the form of emergency contraception and ARVs many do not access this. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do first, after finding ones safely does one report the incident to the police or go to the health services. For more information on what sexual assault is and what to do – please check local groups like POWA or Rape Crisis.
When having an abortion following rape, the health provider will take a sample of the contents of your womb for forensic lab testing and also they can assign a detective to work on your case.
When having your abortion, if you are able, do tell your provider and they can offer you a tranquiliser to address your trauma and anxiety. Having an abortion is an invasive procedure and could remind one of the assault and so it is important to prepare and be covered with good pain relief.