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Sexual violence

Sexual Violence Panel

If you're the victim of rape or sexual assault, the police and other organisations are there to help.

Call 999 to report a rape or attempted sexual assault as soon as possible after the crime.

If the offence has recently happened:

  • keep the clothes you were wearing and don't wash them; the police may need them as evidence for the investigation
  • try not to shower, as there may be evidence which the police can use

If you're under 17, the Child Protection Unit of your local police station will deal with your case.

If you don't want to report it to the police

Some areas have Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) - use the NHS Choices tool to find one in your area. They can offer you medical support and collect evidence that can be used later.

You can also contact a support organisation:

None of these organisations will make you report the assault to the police unless you want to.

View an A to Z Directory of sexual violence-related groups or organisations

What happens next?

The police (if you have reported it to them) or SARC staff will:

  • arrange for you to have a medical examination and treatment for any injuries you have
  • give you support and advice
  • explain what happens next

The police have specialist teams who are trained to deal with rape and sexual assault. You can ask to speak to an officer or staff member who's the same sex as you.


Advice from Devon and Cornwall Police



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