If you’re the victim of rape or sexual assault, the police and other organisations are there to help.

Call 999 to report a rape or attempted sexual assault, as soon as possible after the crime.

If the offence has recently happened:

  • keep the clothes you were wearing and don’t wash them - the police may need them as evidence for the investigation
  • try not to shower as there may be evidence which the police can use

If you’re under 17, the Child Protection Unit of your local police station will deal with your case.

If you don’t want to report it to the police

Some areas have Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs). They can offer you medical support and collect evidence that can be used later.

You can also contact a support organisation:

Rape Crisis (for women)
Victim Support - information for women
Victim Support - information for men

None of these organisations will make you report the assault to the police unless you want to.

What happens next

The police (if you have reported it to them) or SARC staff will:

  • arrange for you to have a medical examination - and treatment for any injuries you have
  • give you support and advice
  • explain what happens next

The police have specialist teams who are trained to deal with rape and sexual assault. You can ask to speak to an officer or staff member who’s the same sex as you.

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