Over the Rainbow - a site for survivors of any unwanted sexual activity
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my sexual violence survivor story
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1. Get to a Safe Place
  • Your first priority is your safety. If you can, try and get to a safe place. This may not always be possible if your assailant is a partner. For more information on safety in relationship rape please see the excellent Aphrodite Wounded - a website dedicated to partner rape.
2. Contact someone you trust
  • You don't have to deal with rape alone. Contact a friend or family member that you trust. If you don't feel able to contact anyone then call a crisis line. They will be able to support and advise you.

3. Medical issues

  • You may need immediate medical attention. If so please go to your Dr. or local emergency room. Some areas have specific places that specialise in rape (for example The Haven in south London). You are entitled to see a female Dr and to be treated with sensitivity. You might have injuries or need to take emergency contraception or be checked for sexually transmitted diseases. Do have these checks done, most STI can be treated easily, but can do damage in the long term if they are not. The morning after pill can be used for up to 72 hours, although the earlier you take it the more effective it is. If you miss the cut of point for the morning after pill all is not lost. The coil, or IUD (Intrauterine Device), can be fitted for up to five days after intercourse and acts as a form of emergency contraception.

4. Reporting

  • Possibly one of the hardest decisions to make after experiencing sexual violence is whether or not to report to the police. No one can make this decision for you, it is your choice alone. If you do decide to report remember again that you are entitled to see a female police officer if you want to. Don't wash until you have seen the Police. If you have evidence, for example a phone message recording, keep copies. Legal proceedings vary from country to country, but for more information on UK proceedings please see The British Legal System page. What has happened to you is a crime and you are entitled to get justice.

5. Seeing your attacker

  • As most people are raped by someone they know there is a strong possibility you will have to deal with seeing your attacker again - maybe even on a daily basis. Perhaps you work with him, or he is at school or college with you. There is no easy way to deal with this situation. If you can not avoid him, firstly make sure you are safe from him. If he is continuing to hassle you tell a teacher, lecturer or work supervisor. You may need to take out a restraining order. Remember that your safety and emotional well being are important.
Please also see this article on what to do if you are raped.
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