What do I do – If I have just been raped or sexually assaulted?
If you have just been raped or sexually assaulted, you are not to blame and you are not alone. There are agencies which are trained and able to help you.
Call The Survivors Trust Cymru Support line on 0808 801 0818
The first and most important thing for you to do is to try to get to a safe place. Whether this is to your home, a friend’s home, a police station or a hospital, try to take yourself to a safe space. You may need to call 999 or 112 to make this happen.
“Remember, there is help and it is available to you”
You may already be away from immediate harm but still feeling insecure. There are some things you can do straight away, which might also help:
- It is a good idea not to be alone, see if a friend or someone you trust can be with you.
- Find a place that feels safe to you. This could be in your home or somewhere else.
- Keep warm, you might be in shock.
You may not be sure whether you want to report to the police or not yet, you don’t have to make that decision straight away. You can go to your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Please click here to go to the map showing you where your nearest SARC is. At the SARC, you can have a forensic medical examination, you can also be given a pregnancy test and tests for sexually transmitted infections.
The SARC will not pressure you into reporting to the police, but they will help you if you want to. They are able to store the results (evidence) of the forensic examination, until you decide if you want to report it to the police or not. All SARCs have experienced professionals who are specifically trained and can give you the help you may need, from medical advice to helping you through the immediate trauma.
To find details of your nearest SARC, as well as other useful organisations/support close by please click here.
If you want to have a forensic medical examination at the SARC, please remember timing is important l, you should try and go to the SARC as soon as physically possible, within 72 hours of the rape or assault. There are also some steps which will help keep the evidence which will help any investigation:
- Don’t wash
- Don’t brush your teeth
- Don’t eat or drink or smoke
- Don’t change your clothing
- If you have changed your clothes, don’t wash them and put them in a clean paper bag
- Try not to go to the toilet
- Try not to tidy up or move anything from the scene
If you have already done some of these things, don’t worry, it’s still possible that there is for forensic evidence to be collected.