Rape and sexual assault

Rape and sexual assault are acts of sexual violence. Both are against the law and can be prosecuted in a court of law.
Anyone can be sexually assaulted, male or female, heterosexual or gay, old or young.

The effect that it has on people will vary and different people may feel the impact of it in different ways and at different times in their lives. You might feel scared, frightened, angry or embarrassed; whatever you feel, you should be aware that there is support for you available and that you are not alone.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted you can report the crime to your nearest sexual assault referral centre (SARC) or go directly to the police.:

Sefton Residents :Safe Place on 0151 295 3550

West Lancashire residents: Lancashire SAFE on  01772 523344

Reporting an incident later rather than at the time of the assault, may however affect the evidence available should you wish to pursue a prosecution.
It is strongly recommended that you report the crime to your nearest SARC even if you do not wish to pursue a prosecution. The reason for this is that they can provide a referral to an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser and other appropriate support services. They will also provide you with sexually transmitted infection screening (STI) or emergency contraception if you are a woman. They can also provide any onward referral for any other related health issues and support.

You can report the crime to your nearest SARC many months or even years after the crime took place.

Substance assisted sexual assault/”Date Rape”

Date rape drugs can be used to sexually assault a person. The drugs often have no colour, smell, or taste and are easily added to drinks without the victim’s knowledge. These drugs usually cause a person to become helpless  they can hardly move and are not able to protect themselves from being hurt. People who have been given date rape drugs say they felt paralysed or couldn’t see well, and had black-outs, problems talking, confusion, and dizziness. Date rape drugs can even cause death.
It’s hard to know whether a party, club, or concert you plan to go to will be dangerous. Drugs may not be at every party you go to, but you should still have a plan for keeping yourself and your friends safe no matter what.

  • Say “NO” to alcohol. Have water or a soft drink instead.
  • Open your own drinks.
  • Don’t let other people hand you drinks.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
  • Don’t share drinks.
  • Don’t drink from punch bowls or other large, common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
  • Don’t drink anything that tastes, looks, or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.
  • Always go to a party, club, or concert with someone you trust, such as a friend or an older brother or sister.
  • Stay away from “party drugs.” They can be pills, liquids, or powders. These drugs can also leave you disoriented and vulnerable.

Alcohol on its own, is a powerful drug and may leave you vulnerable to assault; it is therefore always a good idea to ensure that if you are going out and intend to drink you do so in the company of good friends who will not leave you alone at the end of a night out.
It is also advisable always to carry enough money for a black cab fare home or for a reliable local cab service. Never pick up an unmarked car from the street. You can programme the number of the black cab or local cab service into your mobile phone to have it easily at hand.

If you need help, you may want to consider one of the options below:

  • Talk to your GP.
  • Go to your local Isis sexual health clinic,
  • Attend your local Accident & Emergency.
  • Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
  • Call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 jo@samaritans.org (helpline).

Contact SurvivorsManchester: for men who have been sexually assaulted

 

break the silence

 

support@survivorsmanchester.org.uk

The police have set up special units to support people who have been sexually assaulted. This unit is called the Unity Team and are based across Merseyside

http://www.safeplacemerseyside.org.uk/policeinvolvement.htm

If you have been recently sexually assaulted (with or without reporting to the police) the SARC will provide;

  • Forensic medical examination
  • Emergency contraception
  • PEPSE* if appropriate
  • Advice on screening for sexually transmitted Infections
  • Hepatitis ‘B’ vaccination
  • Referral to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor and other appropriate support services
  • Informal discussion with a specially trained police officer (if requested)
  • Translation services if English is not your first language

*A course of treatment to help prevent the onset of HIV in those who are at risk (this must be administered within 72 hours of an assault

Not so urgent

  • Routine STI screen best done 14 days after assault.
  • Emotional support and counselling.
  • Arrangements for follow up screening and blood tests e.g. HIV will be discussed at your initial visit.

Please feel reassured that the SARC will be able to offer you the choice of either female or male staff depending on your preference and that there will be no pressure on you to take any particular course of action.

Under 16s

It is important that you try to tell someone about the assault as soon as possible in order to get the support that you will need a Sefton Sexual Health clinician, a parent, friend, partner, carer, family doctor or trusted teacher for example.

The SARC will see some under 16s if the young person prefers to be seen there. However, other under 16s will be seen at The Rainbow Centre in Alder Hey Hospital Tel: 0151 252 5161/5374, or for West Lancashire residents: The Safe Centre: www.lancsteachinghospitals.nhs.uk/safe-centre Tel 01772 523344