Sexual Assault Advice

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

If you have been sexually assaulted it can be difficult to know what to do. But the first and most important thing is keeping safe. Get away from your attacker, go to a safe place and contact someone you trust.

What do I do now?

If you are in immediate danger or have been injured, call the police and emergency services on 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone). If immediate assistance is not required, call 101.

Reporting the assault

If you report the crime to the police you will:

  • Be seen by a specially trained police officer
  • You may be offered a forensic exam which can only be done with your consent. This is a special examination to get evidence that will be stored and used to prosecute your attacker.
  • If you are reporting an attack that happened some time ago a medical examination may not be necessary. The police and SARC staff can advise you on this.
  • In both cases a specially trained police officer will be your contact throughout the investigation process and for any future court hearings.

You will not have to go through this alone. As well as the specially trained police officer you will be supported by our specially trained Crisis Workers during your time at the SARC.

Preserving evidence

The earlier there is a report to the police the better, in terms of gathering evidence.

Advice to victims:

  • Don’t brush your teeth
  • Don’t wash any part of your body
  • Don’t brush your hair
  • Keep all clothes you are wearing or were wearing when the incident occurred
  • If you were using a panty liner or tampon at the time of the attack you should also keep this for the police. Put it in a paper bag if possible.
  • Keep a urine sample. This is really important if you think you have been drugged
  • Keep or store any used condoms, chewing gum or cigarette butts discarded by the person who attacked you.