If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, we understand how scared and confused you might be, but you do not have to cope alone. You can talk in confidence to one of our fully trained University staff or go direct to an external service if you prefer.
What you decide to do next is completely up to you, so take your time to think things through and read through this page carefully. Try to be somewhere that feels safe, keep warm in case you're in shock and ask a friend or someone you can trust to be with you. If you don’t feel like talking to a friend or family member yet, you can call the Rape Crisis National Helpline on 0808 802 9999.
If you do decide to report to the police, or if you want to make a self-referral for a forensic medical examination at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) while you make up your mind, time is an important consideration. Try, if possible, to take these steps:
- Do not wash
- Do not brush your teeth
- Do not have a cigarette
- Do not eat or drink
- Do not change your clothes
- If you do change your clothes, do not wash them and put them in a clean bag
- Try not to go to the toilet
- Do not clear up anything from the area of the incident
Don’t worry if you have already done some of these things, it’s still possible there’s forensic evidence to collect.
You can also choose to do nothing now. If you feel that it would be useful to take time and to think about the options open to you then that is a perfectly valid decision.