If you have just been raped – or if you are with someone who has just been raped:
If you are at home or in the home of someone else – has your attacker gone? If not, can you make yourself safe, contact a friend or family member or call the police? If you are in any danger call 999 immediately.
You may be in shock and be unable to feel any pain right now. Check if you are bleeding. If this is more than a very minor cut or graze, you may need to go to Accident and Emergency right away.
If you have banged your head, or if you have been hit on the head you may need medical attention. If you were unconscious for even a short time, you should go to Accident and Emergency at once.
If you are going to Accident and Emergency can you contact a friend or family member to go with you?
The Archway in Glasgow is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre where you can have a forensic examination carried out if you have been raped or sexually assaulted in the past seven days. This can be done whether the police are involved or not. You can also receive emergency contraception and pregnancy testing.
The Archway can also provide the information and help you need regarding sexually transmitted infections and blood borne virus testing. You can also receive support and counselling and can also have support if you wish to make a statement to the police.
If you decide to report directly to the Archway, you will need to contact them in advance to arrange an appointment. You can ring them on 0141 211 8175. Archway covers Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Ayrshire and Argyll and Bute.
You will be seen in the first instance by a doctor and nurse who will ask you some questions about your immediate health and also about the assault and then they will begin a forensic examination (if you are undecided about going to the police). This is so that forensic evidence can be gathered to corroborate the evidence given in your statement. You should try not to wash yourself or throw away any of your clothing. Your first instinct may be to have a bath or shower and get rid of your clothing but this evidence may be essential.
You may want to bring someone along to support you at this time but as waiting room space is very limited at the Archway this should only be one person. Check with the doctor you speak to when you call and ask about bringing someone along.
In Scots Law, in order to prosecute, there must be corroborative evidence – which means two or more pieces of evidence that support each other. As there is usually only one witness in the case of a sexual assault – the woman herself – the forensic evidence may corroborate the fact that the assault took place and may assist in the identification of the perpetrator.
Your clothes may need to be kept for evidence and you can be provided with clothing by the Archway or you may ask for a relative or friend to bring clothing to you.
Nurses will also make arrangements for you to have testing for sexually transmitted infections carried out two weeks post assault and will give you information about accessing support or counselling.
If you live in an area not covered by the Archway Glasgow and you wish to report the rape or sexual assault to the police you should go directly to your local police station or telephone them to report the incident.
At the police station you will have a statement taken and an examination by a police surgeon will be organised. Again, you should try not to bathe or discard your clothing.
You can take someone to the police station with you but they may not be allowed into a confidential interview and they may have to wait a considerable time.
If you are concerned that you may become pregnant from the rape you may want to access emergency contraception. This should be done as soon as possible but certainly within 72 hours of the attack.
You can contact the Sandyford Initiative for more information on how to get your emergency contraception on 0141 211 8130 or at www.sandyford.org.
You may also be concerned about contracting a sexually transmitted infection and will be able to discuss testing with staff at the Sandyford Initiative. You can contact their GUM clinic on 0141 211 8601 for more information or to book an appointment.
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