Being the victim of sexual assault is extremely traumatic, however, knowing how to get the right help and support is very important to both your physical and emotional well-being. If you become the victim of rape, here is some advice about what to do and who to contact.
Go Somewhere Safe
The first step is to go to a safe place – perhaps a family member or friend’s home. Consider telling a trusted person about what has happened to you. You should never feel that you are at fault for the assault. There are several professional organisations that you can get in touch with for advice and support, for example a sexual assault referral centre in your local area, Victim Support or Rape Crisis. For members of the LGBT community who have experienced sexual assault, there are specialist organisations like Galop who can help, and Survivors UK is an organisation which can help men who have been the victim of rape.
Link to Rape Crisis (opens in new tab) – https://rapecrisis.org.uk/
Link to Galop (opens in new tab) – http://www.galop.org.uk/
Link to Survivors UK (opens in new tab) – https://www.survivorsuk.org/
How Can Organisations Help?
Sexual Assault Referral Centres are able to offer advice and support and will also be able to perform a forensic medical examination and also STI and pregnancy tests. Some organisations such as Victim Support will also be able to to come to your home to visit you should you want to talk directly with another person.
Reporting The Assault To The Police
Although you may want to shower and wash your clothes, you should try to resist the urge until you have reported the attack to the police. The DNA evidence that they can obtain will help to identify the attacker and will help to prosecute them successfully. Even if you choose not to talk to the police about the assault you can get help from an SARC who can retain forensic samples if you wish in order to help in potential future crimes.
Link to SARC (opens in new tab) – http://thesurvivorstrust.org/sarc/
To do this, a doctor will take swabs and samples which would only ever be used with your express permission. Many police stations have specially trained officers who are skilled in dealing with victims of this type of attack, and they will treat you courteously and respectfully. Although you can report the attack at any time after the event, if you do so within 72 hours there is a better chance of being able to obtain more evidence and of being able to prosecute the attacker successfully.
When reporting a rape or sexual attack to the police, you will need to make a statement, although you will not be rushed into doing so. Although you may find it challenging or embarrassing, try to give as much detail as possible, especially about the time and place, the sequence of events, any threats or conversations which occurred, any weapons used, and any injuries incurred either by you or your attacker.
Even when you have chosen not to report the incident to the police, you should get medical help after you have been raped or sexually assaulted as you might have suffered injuries which require treatment. You should also obtain advice about STIs and emergency contraception. If you don’t attend a SARC you could go to your family planning clinic, local A&E, your GP or a GUM clinic. Your medical needs will be dealt with by a medical professional completely confidentially and the police will not be informed without your consent.
Women forced into sex without protection may want to use emergency contraception such as an IUD or emergency pill. Anyone who has been raped should also have an STI check up, even if they have no symptoms.
Obtaining Ongoing Support
Being the victim of a sexual assault can be very distressing, and you are likely to go through many different feelings over the days and weeks afterwards. You may experience emotions such as anger, guilt, anxiety, shock or fear, however you need to remember that you were not at fault in any way. You may want to seek support from a local group or a counselling service, and if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression you should see your GP for treatment.
Although there is no time limit on when you can seek support and help after a sexual attack, the sooner you approach a doctor or support organisation, the better the outcome for your well-being. Professional organisations, medical professionals and the police are all aware of the mental and physical repercussions of being a victim of rape, and will never force you to take any action that you are unwilling to take. However, reporting the matter to the authorities is the best way of ensuring that your attacker will be caught and will be prevented from carrying out a similar attack on another person in the future.
Get Legal Help
The after-effects of rape can influence a person’s life in various ways. It could lead to physical injuries such as bleeding, soreness, dislocations and fractured bones. There are also high chances of psychological and lingering mental damages like depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), lowered self-esteem, shock, and dissociation. These and many more factors are what entitle rape victims to receive compensations from the guilty offenders.
Compensation may be the last thing a rape victim considers but in reality it can make life easier if financial concerns are one less concern in an already challenging time., and there are many companies that can help even if it is simply offering free legal help.
Compensation rape victims can claim for include:
Inhibition of Earnings: In the event that your psychological or physical injuries impair your working abilities or even lead to job loss, you are entitled to compensation. The only condition for this is that you should provide evidence to show that you already had some work history by the time the incident was taking place and it was the main and direct cause of your earnings capability getting lost.
Special Expenses: You are also entitled to claiming for coverage of damage that your property has incurred, special equipment and physical aids to assist you in coping with your physical injuries, funeral arrangement expenses and medical care for mentally and physically incapacitated victims.
Injury Payment: These are payments that help in the coverage of treatment costs as well as inconveniences originating from injuries sustained from rape incidences. This covers both mental and physical injuries.
Link to source (opens in new tab) – https://www.legalexpert.co.uk/how-to-claim/how-much-compensation-for-rape-victim/