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It happened recently

If you’ve recently been raped, sexually assaulted, sexually abused - or experienced another type of sexual violence - we have information and support.

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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.

Getting help and support

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.

Talk to us

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.

Find your nearest Rape Crisis centre.

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.

Find out more about SARCs.

Injuries

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.

If it isn't an emergency, you can contact your local SARC, speak to your GP or practice nurse, or contact 111.

Reporting to the police

Whether or not you go to the police should always be your choice.

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.

More about reporting to the police.


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.

More about forensic medical examinations.

Thinking about reporting to the police?

It's totally up to you whether you speak to the police, and you can do this at any time.

But, if you've been raped or sexually assaulted in the last 7 days, there may be forensic evidence that might help your case if it goes to court.

If you want this evidence to be collected, there are some things you need to do.

You can still get a forensic medical examination even if you haven't made up your mind about reporting to the police.

Find out more
female doctor and female patient chatting

Other things to think about

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

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.

You can:

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.

Pregnancy tests

You can:

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.

STI tests

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.

You can:

We know this is a lot to think about when you might be feeling very upset, confused or overwhelmed.

If you do get in touch with one of our helplines or your local Centre, we can help.

We will never judge you or tell you what to do. You can take it at your own pace.

Talk to us
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