Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes which can have a devastating effect on the victim. It can happen to anyone of any age. It can happen to both men and women though the majority of victims are female. People are most likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know, live with or date.
Some practical things to think about after an assault
- If you have any physical symptoms get yourself checked over by a doctor. You don’t have to tell the doctor about the assault, but they may be able to help you more if they are aware.
- If you are worried your attacker might be high risk for HIV or Hepatitis, see your doctor or sexual health clinic as soon as possible
- If you think you may be at risk of pregnancy, see your doctor as soon as possible to discuss emergency contraception.
- If you want to report the assault to the police, contact them so a forensic examination can be arranged. If you think you have been drugged or had your drink ‘spiked’, tell the police as soon as possible. It may be possible to take samples to arrange this. Do not wash, eat or drink and if you change your clothes, put the clothes you have removed in a bag and bring them with you. You may not want to report it now, but you might later on. So, keep the clothes you were wearing, don’t wash them and put them in a plastic bag.
- Two weeks after the assault you should go to your GP or clinic for testing for sexually transmitted infections. Women may wish to do a pregnancy test.
Sometimes people may be worried about an assault which happened a long time ago, you can still be tested for infections if you are concerned.
Sexual assault and rape affects people in different ways. People respond in different ways to traumatic events and come to terms with them differently. Some people recover quickly but others can have long lasting physical and emotional difficulties.
You can get help from your GP, sexual health clinic or from other organisations. The main organisations are listed below.
Rape Crisis Scotland
Helpline Tel 08088010302
Scottish Women’s Aid
Tel 0131 2266606
Victim Support Scotland
Helpline Tel 0845 6039213
National helpline for men who have been sexually assaulted
Helpline 0845 1221201