Rape and sexual assault

Being raped or sexually assaulted is a very distressing experience and the effects can last for a long time. As everybody is different, it is not easy to know exactly how you will feel. However, your emotions may feel very intense at times. You may also find it difficult to sleep, eat, and concentrate and you may find yourself withdrawing from other people.

Whatever has happened, it is important to remember that it is never your fault. One of the most helpful ways to come to terms with the assault can be to talk through your feelings. Our volunteers can talk with you, in confidence, and provide you with support and understanding. They can help you deal with any issues that may worry you and can also help you to decide what you want to do following an attack.

If you are thinking of reporting the crime to the police (at any stage after the attack), they can talk things through with you and give you information about how the police can help you. If you are worried about the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases they can help you make contact with a family planning clinic, young person's clinic, Brook Advisory Centre or your GP. Hospitals and GPs will see you confidentially, whatever your age, and will not report the assault to the police unless you ask them to. These clinics offer free and confidential testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

For confidential advice on HIV issues call the Terence Higgins Trust from 12pm-10pm on 0207 242 1010 or the free 24-hour National AIDS Helpline on 0800 567 123.

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