I have just been raped. What should I Do?
Are you safe now? If not, you may need to ask for help.
You do not need to make any decisions now about reporting the assault to the Gardaí or PSNI but it is a good idea to leave your options open. Here are some points to remember:
- Contact your local Rape Crisis Centre as soon as possible. A staff member will give you the information you need to help you make your decisions about what happens next and to support you in whatever you decide to do. This will include information about your nearest specialist Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) or PSNI Rape Suite.
- You can ask a friend to contact the Rape Crisis Centre for you or ask a friend to come with you.
- If you decide you might want to report the rape or sexual assault to the police, do not wash until after you have had a medical and forensic examination because important forensic evidence might be washed away.
- If you were attacked in your mouth and you want to report it, don't eat, drink, smoke or use toothpaste or mouthwash until samples have been taken from your mouth area.
- Do not throw out or wash underwear or clothes that you were wearing at the time of the assault as these will be needed for forensic examination.
People react in different ways to being raped or sexually abused. There is no such thing as a 'typical reaction'.
Your reactions may include the following:
Thinking constantly about the details of the rape, getting flashbacks, finding it hard to sleep and having nightmares, being jumpy, obsessive washing, physical trauma.