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If you have been raped the most important thing to remember is that it was not your fault.

It is irrelevant what you were wearing, how much you had to drink or whether you were in your own home or out for the evening – you did not ask to be raped. The blame is entirely the perpetrator’s. If you have not given your consent to have sexual relations or were unable to give your consent (for example, if you were asleep, passed out, or drunk) then this is also rape.

The next step is to get help:

  • Go to a safe place such as the home of a trusted friend or family member.
  • It is up to you whether you want to report the assault to the police. But the sooner you report rape the more forensic evidence can be collected by the police or a sexual assault referral centre (SARC).
  • You can contact your local police station to see if they have a Specially Trained Officer (STO) who is specifically trained to help you after you have been raped
  • If you do not want to contact the Police, go along to our Sexual Assault Referral Centre (by Gloucester Royal Hospital) where you can have a forensic and medical examination. They can store the forensic results until you make up your mind whether to report to the police or not.

If you do not wish to do any of the above yet, it may be important that you receive medical attention.  You may need to receive treatment for your injuries, emergency contraception, and checks for STIs.

If you are still unsure about what to do, and you are scared, anxious or worried, Rape and Sexual Abuse Centres like ours specialise in providing confidential rape trauma support. You can contact us on our help line and / or arrange to see a specialist sexual violence support worker. Click on the home page or the contact us section of the website to find out how to get in contact with us. We can help you make a decision when you are ready.

 

Reproduced with kind permission of Rape Crisis England and Wales.