What services do you provide?
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) provides emergency, temporary shelter and services to victims of intimate partner violence and their dependent children, victims of sexual violence and their family/significant other, and stalking. The WRC has 2 crisis lines – Shelter 405-701-5540, and the Rape Crisis Center at 405-701-5660. There is no charge for any of the services provided by WRC.
Do you provide education or consultation to the community?
Yes. The WRC staff will come and present information to classes, community groups and participate in community events or work events. Call the WRC at 405-364-9424 to request a speaker.
Do you provide services to women only?
No. The WRC Shelter provides services to women, men and children affected by Domestic Violence. In emergency situations, the WRC can provide a safe place for male victims of intimate partner violence. The Rape Crisis Center provides services to adolescents ages 13-18, women and men. There is no charge for services provided.
Do you provide legal counsel?
No. Legal aid? The WRC can inform you of your legal options, weigh out the pros/cons and refer you to legal services if needed.
What if I need a protective order?
Call 405-364-9424 and ask to speak with an Advocate who can assist you with the protective order. The Advocate can assist you in filling out the paperwork, accompany you to court and Advocate for you if necessary. There is no charge for this service.
What is an Emergency Protective Order?
An Emergency Protective Order (EPO), is a civil court order issued by a judge to prevent one person from committing certain acts against another. An EPO is a legal method used to help protect people from rape or any further acts of domestic abuse, such as; physical harm, threats, harassment, and stalking. The person filing for an EPO is considered a PLAINTIFF and the person being filed against is considered a DEFENDANT.
Is an EPO right for you?
If you have been or are currently:
- physically harmed or there has been an attempt to physically harm you
by an intimate partner, former intimate partner, family member, current or former household member, or you are a victim of rape you meet criteria to file for a Protective Order under Oklahoma’s Domestic Abuse Act.
If your EPO is granted by the judge, the DEFENDANT will be served with the same paperwork. The DEFENDANT must then strictly follow what has been ordered in the EPO. If the DEFENDANT breaks the order in any way, you MUST contact the Police or Sheriff’s Department immediately to report that you have an active EPO and that it has just been violated. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU REPORT ALL EPO VIOLATIONS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, otherwise the paperwork won’t help protect you.
First and foremost, we at the WRC want you and your family to be safe. Think safety first and know that sometimes a defendant’s behavior can increase once finding out that a protective order has been filed against them. This information is NOT to deter you from filing, only to empower you with important information and to help keep you safe. If you believe it would not be safe at this time to file an EPO we recommend you follow your instinct and seek help the best way you know how.
Do you provide individual and group counseling?
The WRC provides individual supportive services, crisis intervention, court advocacy and advocacy services for people victimized by intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking. The WRC provides education group and supportive group for victims of domestic and sexual violence and their family members. For more information call 405-364-9424. There is no charge for this service.
What is intimate partner violence?
Intimate partner violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Intimate partner violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. Intimate partner violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. Types of intimate partner violence include physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, societal, financial and sexual.
The violence does not have to occur every day to be considered intimate partner violence. The cycle of violence is ongoing and includes a tension building/stress period, a crisis or violent episode(s) and a seductive calm period. The amount of time that passes in between each period is different for everyone. Over time the tension building/stress period and crisis or violent episode(s) may occur closer together and become more severe. Eventually the seductive calm period may disappear completely.
Is my partner potentially violent?
There is no way to tell if someone is abusive before you start to get to know them. Having said that, most abusers share some common characteristics.
Some of the subtle warning signs include:
- They insist on moving too quickly into a relationship. (Wanting to move in right away, saying ‘I love you’ shortly after meeting them, seeing them exclusively right away are some examples)
- They can be very charming and may seem too good to be true. Usually if it seems too good to be true it is!
- They insist that you stop participating in leisure activities or spending time with family and friends. (This is part of gaining power and control over you by isolating you from friends and family)
- They are extremely jealous or controlling. (They have to know where you are and what you are doing every minute of the day, they may be jealous of time you spend with other people)
- They do not take responsibility for their actions and blame others for everything that goes wrong.
- They criticize their partner’s appearance and make frequent put-downs.
- Their words and actions don’t match.
- Any one of these behaviors may not indicate the person is abusive, but it is important to pay attention and explore further if the person exhibits any of these behaviors.
Does your partner:
- Check up on you frequently
- Frequently put you down
- Try to exercise control over you
- Attribute acts of jealousy or possessiveness to love
- Destroy or threaten to destroy your belongings
- Threaten to hurt someone or something you care about
- Touch you in a way that hurts or scares you
- Force you to have sex in ways that are not comfortable for you
- Blame you for their shortcomings
- Get angry in a way that scares you?
- Belittle your feelings?
If you are thinking about leaving:
If you are thinking about leaving an abusive person, this is a potentially dangerous time for you. Please call the WRC crisis line at 405-701-5540 so staff may assist you in developing a safe plan to leave. If you are in need of immediate shelter, call 405-701-5540.
Have I been raped?
Rape is any kind of sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal) that is committed against a person’s will or is committed with physical force or threat to hurt the victim or another person. It is also considered rape if the victim is intoxicated or unconscious and unable to give consent. Rape and sexual assault are not about sexual desire- they are about power and control.
Sexual assault is the legal term for rape, and it also encompasses other behaviors beyond forced sexual intercourse. Sexual assault can be any unwanted sexual contact, such as unwanted touching, fondling, or groping of sexual body parts, even through clothes. It can be committed by the use of threats or force or when someone takes advantage of circumstances that render a person incapable of giving consent, such as intoxication.
Do I have to report a rape to law enforcement to get a rape exam?
In 2010, legislature passed a law that allows a victim of rape or forcible sodomy to get a forensic medical exam without having to report it to law enforcement. The exam is paid for out of the Sexual Assault Examination Fund through Victims Compensation. Should you decide at a later date that you wish to pursue charges against the perpetrator the evidence will have already been collected and in the custody of the appropriate law enforcement agency. Each law enforcement agency has their own policy for how long they will keep ‘Jane Doe’ kits. If you have any questions contact the Rape Crisis Center at 405-701-5550.
Do I have to go to the hospital?
No. The Rape Crisis Center has an exam room specifically designed to provide the forensic medical exam. An Advocate will stay with you during the entire process and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner who has received specialized training will do the forensic medical exam.
What can I expect from a forensic medical exam for rape or forcible sodomy?
A rape exam can be daunting and there are a lot of misconceptions that come along with it. You can choose not to complete each step of the exam. Every law enforcement agency stores and processes rape kits differently; the results of the rape kits are given to the reporting law enforcement agency. If you have any further questions about the rape kit or exam, please call us at (405) 701-5660 or (405) 701-5550. There is no cost for the exam or medications given.
A rape kit IS:
- Primarily for your health and well-being
- Secondarily for evidence collection
- A documentation of injuries from sexual assault or rape
- Free to you
- Available even if you choose not to report to law enforcement
- Given to law enforcement. Your name is not given to police unless you explicitly state that you want to report
- Going to give you antibiotics to prevent STDs/STIs
A rape kit is NOT:
- Going to tell you if you were raped
- Going to tell you if you were a virgin before the assault
- Going to tell you if you are pregnant
- Mandatory to receiving healthcare
- Mandatory for reporting a sexual assault
- Going to test you for STDs/STIs
Effects of Sexual Assault/Rape
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Genital trauma
- Suicidal ideation
- Increased use of substances
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Emotions that may be experienced:
- Fear of people
- Sense of vulnerability
- Fear of rapist
WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW TO BE HELPFUL TO A FRIEND OR RELATIVE WHO HAS BEEN RAPED
This person you care about has been the victim of a violent, brutal attack which has temporarily stripped them of all personal power. They are suffering terror and feelings of helplessness which are perfectly rational responses to her experience. They need time and support to work through their feelings.
Believe their experience without question. Do not blame them. Whatever the circumstances, they were not looking or asking to be raped. Remember they have been through an extremely punishing experience that they wish desperately had not happened. If they are suffering self-blame-thinking ‘if only I had done this or that differently, this would not have happened’ – reassure them that 1) the blame for rape rests squarely and only on the rapist; the rapist/perpetrator chose to rape. Regardless of what they may or may not have done they do not deserve to be raped. 2) They had no way of knowing what would if they had acted differently.
Respect their fear. Rapists commonly threaten to kill the victim if they do not comply. Most victims we have spoken with did not know whether they were going to live through the experience- they were in terror for their very lives. This fear does not go away when the rapist leaves. It is real and realistic and stays with victims for some time. Help them deal with it by finding ways to increase their safety.
Accept their strong feelings. Being supportive does not mean that you have to do something necessarily. It is an attitude of acceptance of all their feelings; an atmosphere of warmth and safety that they can rest in. Tolerate their mood swings. Be there for them.
Listen without making judgments or giving advice. Try to understand what they are going through. Do not criticize their actions or feelings. They did the very best they knew how in a deadly situation. They survived! Give them credit.
Care about their well-being. In order to care about this person you may need to cope with some difficult emotions of your own. If you are experiencing rage, blame, or loss of feeling yourself, you can be the most helpful to them by finding ways of coping with your own emotions. Honestly examine the source of your feelings. Are they on behalf of your friend’s hurt or your own ego? Though anger is a normal, healthy response to rape, venting extreme rage toward the rapist, making threats of vengeance and such in their presence may just increase their fear. They need you to be there for them, more than against the rapist.
If you feel blaming toward them, look at your own feelings of responsibility. Do you believe it is your duty to protect them at all times? If so, perhaps their rape gives you a sense of failure. Remember, no one can protect another person at all times without making that person a prisoner. Blaming can also rise out of the prejudice that ‘nice girls don’t get raped!’ The mistaken belief that women provoke rape stems from seeing rape as a kind of sex. In fact, the rapist is motivated by a need for power and control and the desire to humiliate and degrade his victim. Rape is not primarily a sexual experience for either the rapist or the victim.
Am I being stalked?
In general, stalking refers to ‘a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated visual or
physical proximity, non-consensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear.
Examples of this behavior include:
- Repeated undesired contact (phone calls, emails, letters, show up unexpectedly, etc.).
- Following or lying in wait for the individual.
- Making threats to the individual or her/his family.
- Any other behavior used to contact, harass, track, or threaten the individual.
If you are being stalked, you should consider:
- Avoiding all contact with the stalker.
- Informing family, friends, supervisors, and co-workers of what is going on.
- Reporting the stalking to your local police.
- Keeping an accurate journal or log of all incidents connected to the stalking.
- Keeping all evidence received from the stalker such as letters, packages, taped telephone messages, etc.
You may contact WRC at 405-701-5540 or 405-701-5660 for more information.
What type of donations do you accept? How can I donate?
The WRC accepts all types of donations. Call 364-9424 to find out if the item you have to donate is one that we need. We have limited storage space to store items. You can refer to our Wish List for ongoing needs. If you wish to make a monetary contribution you can donate through this webpage or mail a contribution to: Women’s Resource Center, P.O. Box 5089, Norman Ok, 73070. Make checks payable to Women’s Resource Center. Click here to donate.
How are you funded?
We receive funding from the Attorney General’s Office, VOCA grant (Victim of Crime Assistance), Cleveland County, City of Norman, United Way and through various events and individual donations throughout the year.