What is rape and what is sexual assault?

Rape is when a male forces his penis into the mouth, anus or vagina of another person (male or female) when that person doesn't want him to.

Sexual assault can be committed by men or women against another man or woman. If any of the following happen when you don't want it to it can be classed as sexual assault:

  • Having objects or body parts (other than the penis) inserted into your vagina or anus
  • Being touched in a sexual way that makes you feel uncomfortable or frightened 
  • Being sent sexual images via email, social media or phone
  • Being forced to watch other people have sex 
  • Being forced to make or watch pornography.  

How to report it

You may find it difficult to talk to someone about what has happened or make a report to the police but it is really important that you report it as soon as possible. This will help to ensure your welfare and safety and also helps to ensure that any forensic evidence can be collected.

You can report directly to us or if you're not ready to involve the police, another organisation such as a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) can help.

If the rape or sexual assault has occurred recently, you should call 999 to help us deal with it as urgently and effectively as possible. Try not to do any of the following as this will help preserve forensic evidence:

  • Wash (including having a shower or a bath)
  • Brush your teeth
  • Smoke
  • Eat or drink
  • Change your clothes - or keep them safely to one side
  • Clear up anything from the area of the incident

Even if it hasn't happened recently we would still like to speak to you - please call us on 101.

If you know someone that has been the victim of rape or sexual assault, you can report it to us by calling 101.

 

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