If you have just been raped or sexually assaulted, here are some things you can do:
If you are not sure whether you want to report to the police or not yet, you can go along to your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). It's good to take a friend or trusted person with you if you can. At the SARC, you can have a forensic medical examination, as well as tests for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. The SARC should not pressure you into reporting to the police and they can store the results of the forensic examination (or evidence) until you make up your mind whether to report to the police or not. SARCs have specially trained experienced professionals who can give you medical help and advice. They can also help and support you through the immediate trauma.
You can find your nearest SARC by contacting NHS Direct on 0845 4647, calling your GP or the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital, or by visiting the NHS Choices website here.
If you do decide to report to the police, or if you want a forensic medical examination at the SARC, time is an important consideration. If you want forensic evidence to be collected, you should try and go to the SARC straight away if you can, or at least within 72 hours of the rape or assault. Also try, if possible, to take these steps:
Don't worry if you have already done some of these things. It's possible that there is still forensic evidence to collect.
Everyone responds differently to a traumatic event. Whatever you feel is a completely valid response to what has happened. You might be experiencing some of the emotions listed below. You might feel none of these things at all. Whatever you do or don't feel now or in the future, talking to a Rape Crisis Centre can help.
You are not to blame and you are not alone.