Information on recent rape and sexual assault
If you have recently been raped or sexually assaulted
The following information is for those who have recently been raped or sexually assaulted. Everyone is affected differently by sexual violence. How you are feeling, and what you want to do, will depend on your own experience. Reading through the information below may help you decide what to do next. If you want to speak with someone about what has happened to you, or about anything else on this page you can contact us on 01563 541 769 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Getting support now can help you with the initial shock of what has happened.
If you are under 16 and have been assaulted, or are living with sexual violence, try to find an adult you trust and feel safe with to confide in. The law means that in certain circumstances the adult may need to share the information you tell them if they consider you to be at risk of any harm. This is something they should let you know and support you with the reporting process throughout.
If you have recently been assaulted:
- Try to be somewhere that feels safe.
- Try to keep warm.
- If possible, see if a friend or someone you trust can be with you.
- Have any injuries treated by your doctor or at a hospital.
- If you think you would like to report the incident to the police, you can contact the police directly or contact us for support.
- If you want to report the assault, contact the police so they can arrange a forensic examination as soon as possible. They will want to get as much evidence as possible. So, don’t wash, eat or drink.
- If you change your clothes, put them in a bag to give to the police.
- Tell the police if you think you may have been drugged or your drink ‘spiked’. They will arrange for blood and urine tests.
- You might not feel like reporting now, but you might in time. So keep the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault, don’t wash them and put them in a plastic bag.
- If you wash yourself, use safe products, not household cleaning products as they can be harmful.
- If there is a possibility of pregnancy you may want to take the morning after pill (up to 72 hours after) or have a coil fitted (up to 5 days after). You can buy emergency contraception at a pharmacy.
- Or you can go to your Family Planning Clinic, genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic or GP if you are worried about pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. (For more information about this please scroll down).
It is important to consider whether or not you need to seek medical help for any injuries you may have, especially if you are bleeding or in pain. We understand you may be anxious about this. You are able to take a friend with you which may help.
If you have any physical injuries you should consider getting them treated by your doctor or local Accident and Emergency Department. Some survivors have found that writing down any questions they have before they go helps. You can access healthcare without telling the doctor what has happened to you. The important thing is that you get any injuries seen to.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
It may be a good idea to get tested for any STI’s as prompt treatment can prevent you from becoming ill later on. If you do have a STI, treatment can prevent you from becoming more seriously ill. You can be tested at your local Sexual Health Clinic. They will offer you fully confidential information, treatment and advice. You do not need a letter from your doctor but you will have to return for any test results. You do not have to disclose a name or disclose that they have been raped / assaulted. Remember you can take a friend with you for support.
If you are unsure as to whether or not any contraception was used, there is a possibility of pregnancy. You can take the morning after pill anytime up to 72 hours after the assault. You can get this from your GP, local Family Planning Clinic or over the counter at most pharmacies. If you get the pill over the counter there will be a charge and this can be up to £25. Additionally, you can have a coil fitted up to 5 days after. This can be done at your local Family Planning Clinic or GP. You may also consider doing a pregnancy test. Again this can be carried out by your GP or Family Planning Clinic but you can also buy them over the counter and they are accurate approximately 2-3 weeks after conception.
If you want to speak with someone about any of the information on this page you can contact our helpline on 01563 541 769. Our helpline is confidential and our workers will give you the opportunity to explore your options and support you with what steps you want to take. You may also find the information pack published on the Scottish Government’s website helpful at this time.