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The first thing to remember is that whatever happened was not your fault. You are not to blame for any sexual harassment or violence you were subjected to.

Whatever you are feeling right now, it is normal. There is no right or wrong way to feel or respond to this.

Key messages if you have been recently raped or assaulted

  • Get somewhere that feels safe. If you don’t feel safe for whatever reason, you can call 999 and speak to the emergency services.
  • If you need medical help, seek advice. If you have any injuries or feel very unwell in any way you may want to call 999 and ask for an ambulance. Call 111 for an assessment or arrange to see your GP urgently.
  • Speak to a trusted person. Reach out to someone you know and trust for support. If that doesn’t feel possible, you can use helplines, there are links to these on our resources and information page.
  • You may want to access The Elms Sexual Assault Referral Centre. More information is outlined on this below.

The Elms Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

The Elms SARC is a specialist medical centre for anyone in Cambridgeshire who has been the victim of a sexual offence.

You don’t need to report to the police to access support from SARC. If you think you might want to report later, you can go to the SARC for a forensic medical examination. You need to do this within seven days of the incident but, as time is an important factor, you should try to get to the SARC within 72 hours of the incident if you can.

The Elms can store the physical evidence for you for up to seven years and take an initial account of the incident if you want to give one. This can be passed on to the police later if you choose.

Also, if possible, try not to:

  • Eat or drink.
  • Smoke.
  • Wash yourself.
  • Brush or comb your hair.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Change your clothes.
  • Go to the toilet.
  • Move or clean anything where the rape or sexual assault took place.

If you do, or have done, any of these things don’t worry. It’s possible there is still forensic evidence to collect, and you can still report to the police if you choose to.

Contact the team