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Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Abuse and Activity

If two people engage in sexual activity while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and one of them later claims to have been raped, can the other person get in trouble?

It's very possible. Alcohol or drug intoxication is not a defense to any sexual crime. If an individual alleges they are a rape victim, the person accused of committing the assault will be thoroughly investigated and listed as a rape suspect in police records. Depending on the results of the investigation, the accused person may be charged with rape (in North Dakota, this is called gross sexual imposition). To protect yourself from this type of allegation, you should use caution when having sexual contact with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Also, remember:

"No" means NO

"Maybe" means NO

"I don't know" means NO

"I don't think so" means NO

"Later" means NO

"I have a boyfriend" means NO

No response or silence means NO

Turning or pushing away means NO

"I am not sure if we should be doing this" means NO

Anything other than a clear Yes means NO! Having sexual contact with someone who is passed out or is otherwise unconscious is RAPE. Do yourself and your friends a favor. If you see a friend engaging in dangerous behavior, get involved!  If friends have had too much to drink, take them home and make sure there is someone to watch over them. Don't allow friends to sleep it off in a back room of a party house where someone could take advantage of them. If you see a friend coming on to someone else a little too strongly, pull him/her aside and point out the possible consequences. Doing this may save your friend from a life-damaging event. If you want counseling or have questions about sexual assault or domestic violence, contact the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center at 293-7273. To report a sexual or domestic assault, contact the Fargo Police Department at 235-4493.

I have an abusive boyfriend. During an argument, I called 911 and he pulled the phone out of my hand and hung it up. Why did he get in trouble for that?

The most important function of 911 is to provide immediate response to emergency calls. Domestic problems are taken very seriously. It is important for dispatchers to determine the reason for the call and to assure the safety of everyone. If someone hangs up, the 911 center will make every effort to regain contact with the original caller. The dispatcher does not know if the caller is being harmed by the person who hung up the phone. Specifically, it is an offense for a person to remove, damage, or obstruct any telephone or telephone line to interfere with an emergency phone call. If someone does this intentionally, they are committing a felony.