In most areas of the country, there is the ability to get advice about the services available after sexual assault that does not require reporting to the police. These are called Sexual Assault Referral Centres and there are telephone numbers available for you to seek advice, confidentially. They help both men and women and give information about how you can access services including sexual health: the morning after pill, your risk of HIV and need for antiviral therapy, sexually acquired infections and other injuries. In addition, they will enable you to provide emotional support. sexual assault hamilton

There is still the ability to have an examination anonymously and this need not involve the police, but enable information to be shared without giving your name - some people will have carried out many sexual offences and although you might not wish to report the crime to the police, this information may help others. abused sexual hamilton

An examination, in these circumstances, is both forensic and therapeutic ie swabs are taken to identify DNA and injuries are documented and possibly photographed but more importantly, we are able to reassure you that all is normal and that there are no major problems caused by the assault. A forensic examination can only detect DNA for up to 7 days (although the sooner the better) so after this time, this would not be offered. sexually assaulted hamilton

Overall, it is important that you are kept safe and any ongoing problems avoided. Help may be sought to move away from the person causing you harm and tackle issues such as self esteem which can be affected by the events that you experience. It is appreciated that the assaults may involve domestic violence, drugs and alcohol, honour based violence and gang crimes. sexual abuse helpline

Anxiety, depression and guilt are all normal reactions after being sexually assaulted. We all think what if...but it is important that you appreciate this is normal and these feelings do not lessen the assault that you have experienced. We should all have the right to say no!