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Freephone 08088 00 00 14Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis helpline
08088 01 03 02National rape and sexual assault helpline

Frequently asked questions

People often ask us questions on a range of topics. Find answers to the questions we are most often asked by you.

Women often tell us that they were very wary about contacting our service, were unsure about what we offered or thought they had to be sent to us by a GP or other health professional.

We want to address some of the most common questions we are asked. If the question you need answered isn’t here please contact us. We’re more than happy to discuss any concerns you have about coming to us for support or referring someone you know.

What services can I get from the Rape Crisis Centre?

The Rape Crisis Centre has a range of services.

We are a support service run by women for women and girls aged 13 and over who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused at any time in their lives. We can also provide support for a woman’s partner and family members (this part of our service is open to men).

You can contact our Freephone helpline on 08088 00 00 14 for telephone support or to make an appointment to see a support worker. You can write to us or email. We can also see you without an appointment at our Wednesday drop-in between 10-3pm and 5.30-7.30pm. We have support groups for women who have experienced sexual violence, friends and family members and also a young women’s group. We cover all Glasgow, Renfrewshire and East and West Dunbartonshire.

The R.O.S.E.Y. project (Rape Crisis Offering Support and Education for Young people) offers awareness raising workshops for boys and girls around sexual violence and sexual bullying, within schools and youth groups. For more information please visit

The RUBY project provides support and advocacy to BME women who have experienced sexual violence. We support women in the asylum process.

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Is the Rape Crisis Centre only for women who have just been raped?

No. Many women think our service is just for women who have been raped recently. This is not the case.

We see women survivors of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. We also support women who have experienced stalking and harassment, ritual abuse, women abused in prostitution and women raped by a partner or family member.

If you have been raped in the last 7 days (male or female) you can access support from Archway Glasgow (Tel 0141 211 8175 or see the Sandyford website Here you can have forensic testing, STI testing and follow up support or counselling.

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I don’t have much money and worry that I couldn’t afford to come into Glasgow every week for my support sessions. Can I get some help with travel costs?

You may be able to get help with your travel costs if you are attending for support.

We can refund the cost of public transport to and from the centre for each visit. Please discuss this with us on your first visit.

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I’ve been to other services and they didn’t do me any good. How do I know Rape Crisis will be different?

We will commit to discussing our service with you so that you have as much information as possible to help you decide whether you think Rape Crisis is the best service for you and we will talk to you throughout the process to ensure you have the opportunity to say how it is going for you.

Even if you decide against support from us at this time you can come back to the Centre at any time if you change your mind.

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I phoned Rape Crisis a couple of years ago but didn’t turn up for my appointment. I’d feel embarrassed going back.

Women often tell us how difficult it is to come to the centre and we know that when the appointment time comes many women change their mind.

We also know that it’s difficult to contact us again to ask again but please don’t hesitate to call us. We will be happy to take calls from you or give you another appointment.

If you don’t feel you can phone then you can email us at or drop in to the centre on a Wednesday between 10.30am-3pm or 5.30-7.30pm.

You can also contact us through our instant messaging service.

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How long will I have to wait before starting my face-to-face support?

We will ask you to attend an initial appointment as a first step in assessing your needs so we can identify the right support for you. It’s unlikely you will wait more than two weeks for this appointment.

This will give you the chance to see the centre, speak to a worker and find out whether you feel we’re the right service for you. If you decide you don’t want to proceed to having regular appointments you can contact us at any time in the future should you change your mind.

If you decide to go ahead with face to face support you’ll go onto a waiting list after your initial appointment. A support worker will contact you within a few weeks to arrange your first session and she will then support you through your 10 sessions, with a review session halfway through. While you are on the waiting list you can still use the helpline or the drop in if you need to speak to someone while you are waiting for your sessions to begin.

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I find it really difficult to speak to someone face to face. How can I get help?

Women often tell us how uncomfortable they feel speaking about the sexual violence they have experienced.

If you feel you are unable to speak to someone face to face you use the helpline, letter, email or instant message. We could also arrange structured telephone support with your own assigned support worker.

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Is using the helpline different from getting telephone support?

The helpline is open 7 days between 11am-2pm and Monday to Thursday 5.30-7.30pm. You can call the helpline for support at these times.

If you call outwith these times please leave us a message on our answering service with your name and number. Our phone number appears as ‘withheld’ so you don’t have to worry about it appearing on your bill, outgoing calls or incoming caller display.

Prearranged telephone support is different from using the helpline as you will be allocated your own support worker in the same way as our face to face service. You and your worker will decide on suitable times for her to call you for your 10 telephone support sessions.

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I am a deaf woman/I have a hearing impairment. How can you help me access your service?

You can contact us by email or instant message to arrange an initial support session or get someone else to refer you.

We are happy to arrange for a signer to be with you for your sessions when you attend for your sessions or you can bring your own if you prefer.

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I am a wheelchair user/I have mobility impairment. How accessible is the Rape Crisis Centre for me?

We are on the 5th floor but there is a lift which is large enough to accommodate a standard sized wheelchair.

It is an old-fashioned type with gates that open and close manually. If you need help in the lift just let us know and we can meet you downstairs. We have an accessible toilet inside the centre.

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I have a visual impairment. Can I access your written materials in a larger font?

Yes. Our website can be viewed in a larger font and we can arrange larger font printouts of our information booklets on request.

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I am unable to leave my house. Can a support worker come to my home?

If you are unable to leave your home it may be possible to arrange to support you in your own home but as this requires two workers it may take longer to organise so it is likely you will wait longer for this type of appointment.

You will be offered structured telephone support or structured email support as another option if it takes a while.

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My partner/friend/relative/key worker is coming with me and wants to sit in the session.

It is possible for someone to sit in with you on your support sessions but many women tell us that they find it easier to speak with a support worker on their own.

We have a comfortable waiting area where they can sit and have some tea or a cold drink. You can always phone the helpline to ask more about this before you make your first appointment. Also, our centre is run by women for women, it is helpful for us to know in advance if the person coming with you is a man.

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I think I’d prefer the support of a group. Can you help?

Yes. Rape Crisis runs support groups. Please call us for information about when the next group will be starting.

In the meantime you can access the other support on offer.

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My friend was raped but her English is limited. Can she get help from Rape Crisis?

If you, or someone else, can contact us to make an appointment we can set up an initial appointment. We will need to know what language she feels most comfortable speaking so we arrange an interpreter.

We also have booklets available in a number of languages and we could post that to your friend or to another address if that would be safer. These translations are also available on our website.

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I don’t feel comfortable travelling to the city centre. Can I access support in my local area instead?

We have outreach services in Renfrewshire and East and West Dunbartonshire. Contact us to find out if we offer a service in your local area.

We could also offer you structured email or telephone support if this would be easier for you. Our phone number appears as withheld does not appear on bills.

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My partner has made me do a lot of sexual things that make me feel really bad about myself. Is this right?

If you are made in any way to perform sex acts that you do not want, this is sexual violence. Many people think that sexual violence must involve force or the woman must be hurt or injured in some way. Women can be coerced into sexual acts that make them feel uncomfortable because they know that their partner will be angry, will be in a bad mood, will withhold money, or will verbally or physically abuse them.

Sex between partners should be a consensual, loving and pleasurable event that makes both partners happy. If one partner is only participating because withholding sex will result in an adverse reaction of any kind from her partner, then this is wrong.

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I am still living with my abuser and I don’t know if I’m ready to leave yet. Can I still call you?

We have supported many women who are still living with, or are in contact with, the person or people who continue to abuse them.

We know from the experiences of many women we have supported that leaving an abuser can be a long process and we will support women through that process when the time is right for her.

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My partner/relative is having a difficult time dealing with this. Is there an organisation he/she can get help from?

Your partner can also access support here at the Rape Crisis Centre. We understand that this can also be a very difficult time for partners, friends or family or family members and we can offer support plus some written materials.

This part of our service is open to men and we often support non abusing partners, fathers, mothers and sisters etc.

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I want to report to the police but I think it’s all too long ago …

It is possible to report cases of historical abuse/rape to the police but there may be some additional difficulties due to the nature of Scots Law and the need for corroborating evidence, which might be physical evidence.

However, if you would like to discuss this with a police officer you can get support to do this from rape crisis. You may be able to see the police at the Rape Crisis Centre, but this would have to be agreed in advance.

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I’m waiting for the case to come to court and I’m terrified of going alone. Can you help me?

A support worker can advise you when the case will be likely to go to court and what will happen at this time. She can also arrange and accompany you to a pre-trial visit to the court in conjunction with the Witness Service. This will allow you to see the court surroundings and ask any questions you have in relation to the legal proceedings.

A support worker can also accompany you to the precognition by the procurator fiscal, although she might not be able to sit in the room during this but she can sit with you for support when you are interviewed by the defence. This can take place at our home, at the Rape Crisis Centre or at the police station, whichever you feel most comfortable with. It may be possible for your support worker to be with you in court when you are giving your evidence but this has to be agreed with the court prior to trial.

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My sister was raped and I think she needs to talk about it and get it all out. Can you phone her?

We never contact women who have not given their permission or asked us to call even if this is done through a third party. You may feel your sister should be talking about her experiences but the time may not be right for her.

We can send you some information that you can show to your sister to let her know that there is a service here that she can access if she wants to speak about her experiences. We can send you information on how you can support her while ensuring that you also have some support. In the meantime you could let your sister know that you are there for her and give her space to speak in her own time.

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Where is my local Rape Crisis Centre in Scotland?

A full list of Rape Crisis services in Scotland is available here.

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Where is my local Rape Crisis Centre in England or Wales?

You can find a list of local Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales by clicking here.

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