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What to expect if you get in touch

We know that getting in touch for the first time can feel like a very big step - but we are here for you.

Find out more about what to expect below.

Rape Crisis staff and volunteers will always listen to you, believe you, and support you.

If you get in touch, you can go at your own pace, and you don’t have to talk about anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

We will never judge you or put pressure on you - and you can decide what you want to do next, if anything.

Our services are all confidential. And, many helpline services are anonymous - this means you don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to.

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Frequently asked questions

Do I have to tell the police if I talk to you?

No. In fact, most people who access our services don’t talk to the police about what happened.

We will never put any pressure on you to tell the police or anyone else.

In very rare cases, we might have to contact the police if we become aware that a child or a vulnerable adult is at risk of serious harm. But we would always talk to you about that beforehand.

If you do want to report to the police, we can also talk to you about your rights and options.

I don’t think I can say it out loud

We know how hard it can be to talk about it or say the words out loud.

If you get in touch, you can take your time and you don’t have to say anything that makes you uncomfortable. We will never put pressure on you to share anything you aren't ready to talk about.

And, if you do tell us, we will never judge you or blame you for what happened to you.

If you’re not ready to talk to someone face-to-face, you can have an anonymous, text-based chat on our Live Chat Helpline.

Lots of our centres also have helplines you can contact. This might include email, text or webchat helplines.

Do I have to see someone face-to-face?

No. You can contact one of our helplines if you're not ready to talk to someone in person.

After the chat, you might choose to also contact your local Centre to access counselling or other services. But it’s also totally fine if you don’t want to do that, either now or in the future.

I don’t know what I want to do

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what you want to do next – we are here to talk you through your options.

All our staff and volunteers are trained in understanding sexual violence. They will be able to explain what services might be available and what you can do next. And, if you decide you don't want to do anything yet, that's also fine.

I’m not sure if your services are right for me

At Rape Crisis, we are specialists in all types of sexual violence, not just rape.

Sexual violence means any type of sexual activity that takes place without your consent. This includes rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment.

If you’re wondering whether what happened to you ‘counts’ as rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse or a different type of sexual violence, we can also talk to you about that. We will always believe you and never judge you for what you tell us.

If you’re not sure whether we can help, you can get in touch anyway. We can talk to you about our support and services - and let you know if we think someone else might be able to help.

I think I’m to blame for what happened

It’s really common for victims and survivors to feel embarrassed or ashamed, or to blame themselves for what happened. But, we will never judge you or blame you for what happened.

Please try and remember that rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and other types of sexual violence are always the fault of the perpetrator.

We will always listen to you and believe you.

It happened a long time ago

It doesn’t matter if it happened months, years or even decades ago. Lots of victims and survivors don’t tell anyone or get support for a long time afterwards.

We also know that something that happened a long time ago can still have a big effect on your feelings and daily life, even years later. We don’t expect anyone to just ‘get over it’.