What do I do if I have been raped?
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 perpetrators. If you have not given your consent to have sexual relations or were unable to give your consent (asleep, passed out, drunk) then this is also rape. Even though rape involves forced sex, rape is not about sex or passion. Rape has nothing to do with love. Rape is an act of aggression and violence.
Immediately after being raped or sexually assaulted there are decisions that you will have to make. The ﬁrst is whether or not to report to the police. Rape Crisis, friends and family can help you by obtaining information for you about the procedures of the police and criminal justice system, and Rape Crisis or the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) will support you through that process if you do choose to report your assault. You are the only one who can make the decision and no one else should make it for you.
The next step is to get help:
- Go to a safe place such as the home of a trusted friend or family member.
- If you want to report the assault to the police it is up to you. But the sooner you report rape the more forensic evidence can be collected by the police or a SARC.
- Ask the police if you can be seen by a specially trained officer (STO).
- If you are not sure what you want to do, go along, with a friend, to your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (information below) 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 – this decision is yours.
Gloucestershire Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre Telephone Helpline 01452 526 770:
Our telephone helpline is for women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives, as well as their friends, family and agencies working with them. It is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 12.00pm-2.00pm and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 6.30pm until 8.30pm. If you call outside these hours and leave a message, with a safe telephone number, someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
The call will be charged at your usual landline rate, if you have insufficient funds to talk we can call you back.
We do not currently offer support to men who have suffered or are suffering sexual violence or abuse. If you are a male survivor we can give you information of other services which are better able to support you, please call us if you would like more information.
We will be closed for Christmas holidays from 25th of December to 28th of December. We will re-open on 29th-31st of December and close Friday the 1st of January*
If you need to speak to someone when the Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre helpline is shut you can call:
Rape Crisis (England and Wales) Helpline: 0808 802 9999
Opening hours: 12 – 2.30pm and 7pm – 9.30pm (every day)
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre provides a conﬁdential service.
We do not ask you for any personal details and you do not have to give us your real name. We don’t trace calls and your number will not show up, so unless you give us identifying information (such as your full name or address) you will remain anonymous. We will not share what you have said to us with anyone outside of the service. We will only break conﬁdentiality if:
- you request us to
- you’ve given us identifying information, and you’re a vulnerable adult, and we’re concerned for your safety
- you are a child at risk, or you are giving us identifying information about a child at risk.
We will discuss this with you ﬁrst and we will remind you, before you give us identifying information, of our duty under Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult Legislation
Hope House Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC),
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester.
If you, or somebody you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, staff at Hope House SARC can provide various services. Their emphasis is on providing access to medical attention, counselling, advice and police services in a secure and supportive place, they offer:
- Understanding and emotional support
- Conﬁdential treatment and First Aid / medical care
- Emergency contraception if necessary
- Information on other agencies who will be able to help
- A change of clothing
- Access to the Police to gather evidence and investigate your assault
You can visit Hope House SARC in person or phone them on:
Monday – Friday on: 01452 754 390