If it happened recently

First Steps

  • The most important thing at the moment is that you do something to make yourself feel safe
    • This could be contacting someone you trust 
    • Getting yourself to a safe location
    • Keep yourself warm – you may be experiencing shock
    • If you need more emotional support at this moment call Rape Crisis Helpline
  • However you are feeling, try to remember this isn’t your fault and you’re not alone.
  • It’s completely up to you whether or not to report to the police. No-one else can or should make that choice for you.
  • You can speak to one of our Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA) who will explain your options and give you the information needed for you to make a decision 
  • If you’re in danger or need urgent medical attention, you can call 999 to speak to the police or ask for an ambulance, or go straight to your nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department.

If you're thinking of reporting to the police

  • You can call the police on 999 or 101 to start the process
    • A specially trained officer can come to speak with you. (Click here for more info about the police investigation)
  • Or find your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) 
    • The SARC will collect forensic evidence from you.
      • A specially trained doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you for any forensic evidence (even if you have already washed, although there will be more evidence on your body if you feel able to wait until after the examination). 

      • Click here for more information about the forensic exam and look to our FAQs
  • An ISVA can be assigned to you
    • They will support you through the whole process, can explain what happens next and answer any questions you have. 
    • Click here for more information on ISVAs

If you don't want to report to the police

  • It is your decision whether you want to report what has happened to you to the police or not.
    • You can speak to an ISVA about your options
  • You can still go to a SARC if you do not want to report to the police
  • A doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you to ensure that your physical and sexual health needs are looked after.
  • A doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you for any forensic evidence which can be stored at the SARC, giving you the choice to report to the police in the future. (Even if you have already washed, although there will be more evidence on your body if you feel able to wait until after the examination).