The person who sexually assaulted me is being prosecuted in criminal court. Can my sexual history be brought up when I testify?
If the person who sexually assaulted you was arrested and the case goes to trial, you will most likely have to testify about what happened. Alaska has a state law designed to prevent a victim of sexual assault from being re-victimized in the courtroom. The law states that in a prosecution for the crimes of sexual assault in any degree, sexual abuse of a minor in any degree, unlawful exploitation of a minor, or an attempt to commit any of these crimes, before evidence of your sexual conduct (occurring either before or after the crime) can be brought up in court, the information must first be presented to the judge (without the jury hearing it). The judge may allow the information only if s/he determines that your past sexual conduct is relevant to the case and that the importance of the information outweighs the invasion of your privacy and any prejudice or confusion that it may cause to the jury.1
1 See Alaska Statute § 12.45.045(a)
Where can I find additional information about sexual assault?
To read more about sexual assault, you can go to our Learn about Abuse page. If you have been sexually assaulted, there are several places you may call for help:
- Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Free, confidential, 24 hrs.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3244 (TTY) for support, shelter, or services. Free, confidential, 24 hrs.
- If you know a child who is being abused or neglected call the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline for advice and information. This is not the same as reporting the abuse - the purpose is to give you information on options. 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453) Free, confidential, 24 hrs.
- For help with legal information, contact Email Hotline at WomensLaw.org