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FAQ and useful links

FAQ

I’ve been raped, can I have a shower?

We recommend that if you have been raped within seven days of making the report to police, that you don’t shower and await instructions from the police operator. We appreciate this could be distressing, but it is necessary to maximise the chance of recovering forensic evidence, which could be crucial to your case. We will obviously advise you as soon as it is possible to shower.

 

Do I have to go to the hospital?

If you are reporting having been raped within the last seven days, then it may be necessary for you to attend a facility called the SARC. This isn’t a hospital, rather a forensic medical facility, where a trained nurse and crisis worker will take care of you. The process of completing a forensic medical will be explained to you by officers so you will know exactly what to expect prior to attending.

 

Will you tell my partner/family?

If you are over 18, we will not tell your partner or family if you don’t want them to be informed. If you are under 18, we may have to inform the person that has parental responsibility for you, but it will vary depending on the circumstances.  

 

Am I over-reacting?

No, being raped can be an incredibly traumatic experience, and there is no ‘normal’ response. If you continue to behave different to your ‘normal’ then the police will provide advice and facilities for you to receive some support that could assist  

 

Do I have to be examined?

No, but if you are reporting within 7 days of being raped then it could be something that you are asked to do. However, that being said, it is completely your choice as to whether you have a forensic medical or not, it isn’t something you will be forced into.

 

My friend was assaulted should I tell police?

It could be important to have a conversation with your friend to see whether they would prefer to tell police themselves, or if they would be grateful for you to support them in doing so. It is ultimately each individual’s choice as to whether they contact the police, however, we can’t assist if we don’t know about a situation, and if you friend is in danger, or continuing in a relationship where they are being raped or abused, we recommend that you contact the police immediately.

 

What happens now?

Once a report is logged with the police, the circumstances will be reviewed by an operator and if necessary police officers will be sent out to your location, to discuss the incident and decide on whether any immediate actions need to occur. A Detective Sergeant within the Rape Investigation Team will then review the case and allocate a Specially Trained Officer and a Detective Constable to investigate what has occurred. The Specially Trained Officer will become your point of contact and will provide you with updates of the case. Find more on what happens next here.

 

Is there any point reporting something which happed 20 years ago?

Absolutely, we recently had a case from 1987 that received a guilty plea at court where the offender was convicted and is currently in prison.

 

Do I have to speak to the police?

If you have any concerns about contacting the police, there are many agencies who can assist initially such as Rape Crisis who have Independent Sexual Violence Adviser who can offer advice and support. If however, you would like your case to be investigated then you will need to speak to the police. On an initial basis, you could talk to the police online if you don’t want to talk on the phone or in person. Independent support can be found here.

 

Can my partner rape me?

Yes, the law changed in 1991 to cover situations where a husband can be found guilty of raping his wife. This applies retrospectively to include incidents that happened prior to 1991

 

Links

If you’ve been a victim, please report rape or sexual assault as soon as possible. Even if you’re not 100% sure, we’d sooner hear from you so that we can make sure you’re safe. If you’re not ready to talk to the police just yet, that’s OK. Below you can find a range of places to get support, advice and medical help.

You can speak to these organisations in confidence and what you tell them won't be shared with the police unless you ask for it to be.

Independent sexual violence advisors (ISVAs)

Victim Support

  • A national charity dedicated to helping anyone affected by crime – not just victims and witnesses, but friends, family and anyone else caught up in the aftermath.

Rape Crisis

  • A national charity offering confidential help, advice and a range of Rape Crisis Centres around the UK.

Galop

  • A national charity providing advice and support to members of the LGBT community.

Survivors UK

  • A national charity supporting men who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

Crimestoppers

  • A national charity with a free helpline for reporting crime anonymously.

Refuge

  • Refuge supports women, children and men with a range of services, including refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach and culturally specific services.

Women's Aid

  • Women’s Aid is a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children.

Men's Advice Line0808 801 0327

  • Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members).

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