What to do if you have been recently sexually assaulted

What to do if you have been recently sexually assaulted

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you will probably be feeling a range of emotions. 

Firstly remember, it is not your fault and you do not have to face it alone.  You may not want to report the assault immediately and need time to process your thoughts but remember, sexual assault is a crime, whoever committed it.

  • The first thing to try and do is get to a safe place, preferably somewhere where there is a person you trust who can look after you.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower before you have decided whether to seek medical help or report to the Police.  Nor should you wash your clothes, as there may be forensic evidence that could help the investigation if you decided to report the crime.
  • If you were attacked in your mouth and you want to report it, don’t eat, drink, smoke or use toothpaste or mouthwash until samples have been taken from your mouth area.
  • If you feel able, it may help to talk to someone, whether that is someone you know or a specialist organisation, such as IDAS, www.idas.org.uk  Rape Crisis, www.rapecrisis.org.uk Victim Support, www.victimsupport.org.uk  or a SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre), https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Rape-and-sexual-assault-referral-centres/LocationSearch/364   
  • Have a sexual health check and pregnancy test, if appropriate.  These can be done at your local sexual health (GUM) clinic.
Get in touch via isva@idas.org.uk or ring our helpline on 03000 110 110.
“I just want to thank you. When I first came to you, I had nobody to talk to about the rape and you totally supported me through the whole process. You walked me all the way through everything and made sense of a horrible situation I was in and I don’t know how I would have managed alone. You literally saved my life.”