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Help after rape or sexual assault abroad

If you've been raped or sexually assaulted in another country then you might be feeling alone, confused and unsure of where you can go for help. Here are some suggestions of who to contact.

If something has just happened, you might want to:

  • Try to get somewhere that feels safe.
  • Try to stay warm (you could be in shock).
  • See if a friend or someone you trust can be with you or stay with you on the phone.
  • Talk to someone about what's happened.

Still abroad? You can access free and confidential support via Skype, FaceTime, instant message or email, provided by Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis' Survivors Abroad service.

Back in the UK? You can contact your nearest Rape Crisis Centre in England and Wales, Scotland or Ireland for specialist support and services.

Support Line

Please know: wherever you are and however you’re feeling, this isn’t your fault and you’re not alone.


In danger or need urgent medical attention?

If you’re in the European Union, you can phone 112 for local emergency services.

If you’re somewhere else, you can find contact details for the emergency services in some other countries on the British government’s information guides for victims and survivors of rape and sexual assault abroad. Make sure to select the guide for the country you're in.

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Emergency services and laws are different in every country. They may not always offer you the kind of support or protection you might expect in the United Kingdom. In a very small number of countries, being the victim or survivor of rape or sexual assault could even be viewed as illegal.


If you’re not in danger or in need of urgent medical attention, you might want to consider contacting one of the organisations below first.

The local British embassy, high commission or consulate

If you usually live in the UK but have been raped or sexually assaulted in another country and are still there, you can contact the nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate for support. A British consulate is like a smaller version of an embassy. A high commission is just the special name for embassies in Commonwealth countries.

Alternatively, you can call the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in London on 0044 (0)20 7008 5000.

What can a British embassy, high commission or consulate do?

They aim to meet with you as soon as possible and in private. If you want, they should also try to make sure that a female official from the embassy, high commission or consulate is present at any meeting.

They should be able to tell you about local police and legal procedures. If you want to report what happened to the police then someone from the embassy, high commission or consulate should be able to go to a police station with you.

They should also be able to give you a list of local lawyers and interpreters.

Wherever you are, it’s completely up to you whether you report what happened to the police. No-one else can or should make that choice for you. Things to consider:

  • If you’re in a country where being raped or sexually assaulted could be viewed as illegal, reporting the incident could result in you being questioned or charged.
  • If you want what happened to be investigated, most countries will require you to report it to their police before you return to the UK. In some cases, you might be able to report it from the UK to a police force in the country where it happened via a third party – for example, a lawyer in that country. But, that will depend on where the rape or assault happened. 
  • You can also report what happened to your local police station in the UK, once you have returned home. However, they will not be able to investigate a crime that took place in another country – that can only be done by a police force in that country.

Find more information about reporting in specific countries

The British embassy, high commission or consulate should also be able to give you medical assistance. This might include:

  • Help with arranging a medical examination by a female doctor.
  • Arranging for you to see a doctor who can give advice on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and possible pregnancy.

Specialist services abroad

Rape Crisis England & Wales and our sister organisations Rape Crisis Scotland and Rape Crisis Network Ireland don’t have member Centres abroad. However, depending on which country you’re in, you may be able to access specialist services run by other organisations.

Here are some of the specialist services you can access abroad:

  • If you're in another European country, you can visit Rape Crisis Network Europe to find the nearest centre to you.
  • If you're in Jersey, Jersey Action Against Rape provide specialist counselling and helpline services to victims and survivors of sexual violence, as well as their families and friends. You can call their helpline on 01534 482800.
  • If you're in the United States, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) offer help to victims and survivors, 24 hours a day. You can contact either their National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800 656 4673 or their Online Hotline.
  • If you're in Australia, 1800Respect offer help to people impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence and abuse, 24 hours a day. You can call their helpline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.

After you return home

Once you've returned to the UK, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis Centre for specialist support and services. You can do this at any time – it doesn't need to be right away.

Find a Rape Crisis Centre in England & Wales, Scotland or Ireland

If you reported to the police abroad then the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office might be able to keep you updated on any developments in your case. That will depend on the country you were in and whether the case goes to trial.