Don't suffer in silence
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence includes rape, which is sexual intercourse
without consent whether or not violence or force is used. Using
drugs, threats, or any other pressure to force someone into
intercourse is also rape. However, sexual violence also includes
non-penetrative sexual activity without consent or against the
victim's wishes. The victim may be male or female, adult or
Support and advice
We have a special group of people, the Unity Team, who are
experienced in investigating sexual assaults in the most sensitive
way. They understand the incredible difficulty that victims often
have in talking about what happened. We also have a specially
trained Witness Care Unit to support people through their court
appearance and keep them advised about progress in their case.
- If you have been the victim of rape or serious sexual assault,
you should go as quickly as you can to somewhere you can be with a
friend or relative, and will feel safe.
- You don't have to report the assault. Only you can decide
whether you want to. However, unless you're certain that you don't
want to report it you should remember that the sooner you come
along to our Referral Centre the better our chances of gathering
good forensic evidence. If you want, you can bring a friend along
for support. The centre can store the results until you decide what
you want to do next.
- If you do want to preserve as much evidence as possible, there
are some things it's best not to do before visiting the Referral
Centre. Try not to wash or brush your teeth, eat, drink or smoke,
go to the toilet, wash any of the clothes you were wearing or clear
up the room or the ground where the assault took place. Don't
worry, though, if you've already done any of these things or feel
you have to do them before you come in.
- Whether or not you decide to go ahead with prosecution, you
should get medical attention for any injuries. You may also need
emergency contraception, and you should be checked for sexually
- You can call a Rape Crisis Centre for support. They can offer
specialist counselling either by phone or in person.
How to report sexual violence
If you have been sexually assaulted, you should dial
999 as soon as possible after the attack.
Couldn't find what you were looking for? Find more information in our
Frequently Asked Questions