This information is intended for the children and young people who will use this service and their friends or relatives. It answers many of the most common questions that people ask. If you are still unsure about anything, you can call our advice line any time and we can help you or someone that you know get the help and support they need following a rape or sexual assault. You can contact us on 0800 183 0023.
If anyone has had sexual contact with you and you did not want it, this is an offence. If you did not give your consent, which means to clearly agree to the sexual contact without being forced into agreeing, this is an offence. Also, if you are under the age of 16 and somebody over the age of 16 has had sexual contact with you, this is also an offence. You should not feel guilty or ashamed, you are not to blame. The only person who is to blame is whoever assaulted you.
If you feel like you have had any sexual contact that you didn’t want, you should call our service for advice. You can also read more information about consent and sexual offences by following this link.
It is often hard to know whether someone has been raped or sexually assaulted or if they are being sexually abused unless they tell you. Also, many children and young people can find themselves in inappropriate relationships with people older than them that they will insist is a “consensual” or even a caring relationship.
If you are concerned that any child or young person is being sexually abused, you should read the NSPCC information about child sexual abuse. They give good explanations of warning signs that a young person or child may be being sexually abused. If you are worried about a child or young person, even if you are unsure, you can contact an NSPCC professional 24/7 for help, advice and support on 0808 800 5000.
No! You will not be charged for any service. That includes any medical care and any follow-up care such as counselling. Our service is funded by the NHS and the Police.
If you have very recently been sexually assaulted or raped, and if you feel you may be in any danger, you should call the police immediately. Also, if you have any serious injuries, you should get medical help right away. Call 999 (Textphone 18000)
If this did not happen recently or if you are somewhere safe and you need help deciding what to do next, you should call our service on 0800 183 0023.
You will speak to someone who is specially trained in helping children and young people get the help they need after they have been raped or sexually assaulted. We will make sure that you get the advice and support that you need following an assault as soon as possible.
You can call any time, day or night. It doesn’t matter what day of the year either. If you need our help, we will be there to answer your call.
No. Absolutely not. Anyone can be raped or sexually assaulted. It doesn’t matter who assaulted you either; a sexual assault is the same regardless of the gender of anyone involved. You should not feel ashamed or to blame just because you are a male.
No, absolutely not. We treat everyone with respect, dignity and care, regardless of their gender identity, race, sexuality or religion. We can give you the help you need if you are younger than 18 years of age, whoever you are.
If you were raped or sexually assaulted at some time in the last 10 days, we will want to see you urgently. We will make arrangements for you to be brought to our centre usually within 1 or 2 hours.
If you were assaulted longer than 10 days ago, we will normally make arrangements for you to come and visit one of our centres at some time in the 5 days after you call us or on any day that suits you in the near future.
If the rape or sexual assault happened less than 10 days ago, you will not need to worry about where to go because a specially trained police officer will pick you up and bring you to one of our centres. If the incident occurred more than 10 days ago, we will make sure you know exactly how to get here when you speak to us on the phone.
Yes. You can bring someone with you for support if you would like. They can even come with you for any medical examination you may have if you want them to, or they can wait outside. If you are under the age of 16, you will be asked to arrange for a consenting adult to come with you.
Yes, we can usually arrange for a male or female member of staff to see you, whichever you prefer. However, this may not always be possible.
We can’t say for certain how long you will be with us at our centre because every person who visits us has different concerns and needs. But most of the time, visitors can expect to be with us for around 3 or 4 hours. This may seem like a long time, but you won’t spend all your time in a doctor’s room. Most of this time will be spent talking to one of our trained members of staff about all your concerns.
People can get nervous before this examination, but it is nothing to worry about and our doctors and nurses are specially trained to make the examination as comfortable as possible for you. Most importantly, the doctor or nurse will check to see if you have any injuries and will treat them if needed. We will give you a head to toe examination which is to collect and record certain information which may help an investigation into your assault. We will always go at a pace you are comfortable with and make sure you are happy with everything we are doing. If you would like to know more about the medical and forensic examination, you can follow this link.
You will meet several different members of staff when you visit one of our centres, and every single one will be specially trained to help and support children and young people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. If you would like to know about all the different staff members you will meet when you visit, you can follow this link.
We do everything we can to protect your privacy. Because you are under 18 years of age, we do have to contact the police about your assault so we can look after you. If we think you are in any danger, we may also have to give details to someone like a social worker. But don’t worry, nobody who is not in a position of trust will know anything about what happened to you and they are not allowed to pass on any information to your family, friends or anyone that you know if you don’t want them to. This means only people like doctors, the police, counsellors and social workers will know about what happened to you and they must keep any details about you private.
In many cases, it may be helpful if you tell at least one person close to you who you can trust so they can help support you. We know this can be hard to do, so if you would like, we have trained staff who can help explain things to your family to help them understand what happened. We are here to support you in any way that we can.
We will make sure that you know how to access support when you leave us.
Often, yes. For many people who have been raped or sexually assaulted, the person who assaulted them will go to court.
Yes, you will have to play a role in the court case. We will usually refer you to the services of someone called a Young Person’s Advocate, also known as Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ChISVAs). They will help guide you through all this because we know it can be difficult, especially for children and young people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Your ChISVA can help with looking after everything you need after your first visit to our centre and make sure you get all the help and care you require for the weeks and months following your assault. If you would like to know more about the role of Young Person’s Advocates/ChISVAs, you can follow this link.
Yes, we offer therapeutic support services to help you feel better in the weeks and months after a rape or sexual assault. We usually offer up to 10 sessions of therapeutic support. We will support your mental wellbeing for as long as we feel you need our help. We can, if you need extra support, refer you to a specialist at your local CAMHS, a service that will support your recovery.