Information and Support After Rape or Sexual Assault

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This article will provide information on what to do and how to get support if you’ve experienced rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or any other gender-based violence. 

If harassment or any form of assault has happened to you, it’s not your fault and you do not have to cope by yourself.  

Remember if you’re in immediate danger, call 999. 

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Reporting to the police 

If you have experienced any form of sexual violence and you would like to report it to the police, you can do this at any time. Sexual violence is against the law and it’s the job of the police to investigate and help to keep people safe. 

You can report to the police by: 

If you want to find out about what happens when you report something to the police, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline or Childline can explain the procedure to you. Rape Crisis Scotland have a specific page with more information about reporting an assault.

If you reached out to any organisation and they were concerned about you or someone else's safety, then they may need to share your information with the police if they have your contact details. If you’re worried about this, you can ask them about it first.  

If you do decide to report to the police, then the police are committed to: 

  • Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of youyour families and any other person present. 
  • A thorough investigation of all incidents, securing all available evidence and taking appropriate action.  
  • Actively pursuing offenders so that they can be held accountable through the criminal justice system.  
  • Ensuring that appropriate information and advice is provided to you, including support available from other organisations and networks. 

Find out more information on the Police Scotland website.

Pregnancy 

If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted and the person’s penis or any of their semen came into contact with your vagina, then there is a possibility you may be pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, it’s a good idea to take a test to find out for sure. You can get a free test from your GP or a sexual health clinic, or you can buy them from a supermarket or pharmacy to test at home. 

You can find out about services near you using the Sexual Health Service Finder.  Just type in your postcode and it takes you to your local sexual health services. Most have services specifically for young people, and even if they don’t, the main service is for young people as well as adults.  

If you are pregnant, it may help to speak to someone you trust about what you’d like to do. Some young people choose not to go ahead with their pregnancy, while others choose to have a baby or consider other options after birth, like adoption. 

Whatever you decide is very much up to you, and there is support to help with any choice you make. While it may seem scary to talk about it, the sooner you speak to someone the more choices you will have about what to do. 

You can speak to your GP or a sexual health clinic about your options, or if you prefer to you can speak to someone confidentially on the phone first. 

You can also talk to Rape Crisis Scotland or Childline about your feelings about the pregnancy.    

STIs 

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted there is a chance you may have an STI (sexually transmitted infection). 

If so, you will need to get medical help to treat it. 

There are sexual health clinics all over Scotland where you can go get tested to see if you have any STIs and find out what treatment would help. 

You can ask your GP about this, or if you’d rather not speak to them then you can contact Rape Crisis Scotland or Childline and speak to someone about how to get tested for STIs. You can find out about services near you using the Sexual Health Service Finder. Just type in your postcode and it takes you to your local sexual health services. 

Many people feel embarrassed to talk about STIs, but there is nothing to be ashamed about and health services have a duty to make sure you’re healthy and safe. 

Where can you get help and support?

There are lots of organisations that can provide help and support, remember that you are not alone. You might want to speak to someone before speaking to the police or visiting a sexual health clinic, if so, take a look at our page for a list of national support services that you can contact. 

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