We are not an emergency service.
If you are in danger or need urgent medical attention, call 999.
If something has just happened to you, you might have lots of different thoughts and emotions.
You might be feeling very scared, upset or angry. Or, you might be feeling numb, confused or unsure.
There’s no right or wrong way for you to feel. Your thoughts and feelings might also change over time - and that's OK.
However you are feeling, try to remember what happened isn’t your fault.
You might also be unsure about what to do next. As a first step, you might want to:
- Try to get somewhere that feels safe.
- See if someone you trust can be with you.
- Talk to someone – if you don’t feel like telling a friend or family member yet, you can talk to us.
When you are ready, we have some information about some options below.
Rape Crisis helplines
Whatever has just happened, you can contact one of our helplines.
We will always listen to you, believe you, and never judge you. We can help you think through your options and next steps.
Your local Rape Crisis centre
You can also contact your local Rape Crisis Centre for help, advice and support.
At a Rape Crisis centre, you will get free help and support from specialist trained staff. This can include information, practical support, emotional support, and help to think about your next steps.
If you are thinking of reporting to the police, Rape Crisis centres will have specialist staff (sometimes called ISVAs) who can talk to you about what this involves.
Your local sexual assault referral centre (SARC)
If you have been recently raped or sexually assaulted, you can go to your local SARC.
SARCs can offer confidential medical and practical support to people who have recently been raped or sexually assaulted.
If you think you might want to report to the police, you can also have a forensic medical exam. This is where a specially trained doctor or nurse collects evidence from your body and clothes, that might be used in court.
You can go to a SARC without talking to the police. You should also be able to choose whether you get a forensic medical exam or not.
As well as doing forensic medical exams, a SARC should be able to help you with:
- Getting medical help for any injuries
- Pregnancy tests
- STI tests
- Emergency contraception
A SARC should also help you get emotional support. They may have staff that can do this, or they might put you in touch with your local Rape Crisis centre.
Many people don't have any injuries after rape, sexual assault or other types of sexual violence.
But if you are hurt or injured, you might want to get checked by a doctor.
If you need urgent medical attention, then call 999 for an ambulance or go to your local A&E department.
No-one should ever put pressure on you to speak to the police, and it should always be your choice.
But if you do want to report, you might want to speak to your local Rape Crisis about your rights and options. They may have specialist workers called advocates or ISVAs who can give you information and support throughout the process.
If you are not sure whether you want to report to the police, you can still get forensic medical examination. This collects evidence that might help your case in court - but still gives you time to think about your options.
We know it might be really hard to think about straight away, but if you have been raped you may be at risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
We have some practical information below.
Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy.
There are two types – a tablet (sometimes called the ‘morning after pill’) or an IUD (often called a ‘coil’).
The sooner you get emergency contraception, the more chance you will have of preventing a pregnancy.
Tablets (the 'morning after pill')
You can take the tablet at home up to 5 days after rape or sexual assault.
- Buy emergency contraception tablets from a pharmacy or online.
- Get free emergency contraception from your GP or or a local sexual health clinic.
- Get free emergency contraception from your local SARC.
If you book an appointment with the GP, make sure you tell the receptionist that you need emergency contraception so you are seen quicker.
IUD (the 'coil')
The IUD needs to be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse. This can be done up to 5 days after the rape or sexual assault.
As with tablets, you can get an IUD by going to your GP or a local sexual health clinic.
- Buy a pregnancy test from a pharmacy or a supermarket.
- Get a free test from your GP or or a local sexual health clinic.
- Get a free test from your local SARC.
If you have just been raped or sexually assaulted, you might need to wait before you can take a pregnancy test. Make sure you follow the instructions on the test, or get advice from a doctor or pharmacist.
If you are pregnant and don't want to continue with the pregnancy, you can get an abortion (termination). There is more information on the NHS website.
If you catch a sexually transmitted infection, it’s nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. You will only have caught it because the rapist or attacker had an STI – not because of anything you did or didn’t do, either now or in the past.
Some STIs have obvious symptoms but many do not. It’s a good idea to get a test so you can get treatment if you need it.