It was difficult to watch EastEnders tonight. In the disturbing ending to the episode Dean attacked his girlfriend Roxy – pushing her down on the bed. In the blog tonight we talk about what Roxy – or someone else who has experienced a rape or sexual assault – could do next.
After a rape or an assault, it can be hard for someone to seek help or report it to the police – especially when the attacker is a partner, friend or family member. However, and this may surprise you, approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offence.
There are lots of services out there that can help Roxy – services that will be staffed by professionals who have been specially trained to support survivors of rape and sexual violence.
The first thing Roxy could do is to go along to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). These centres provide services to targets of sexual violence, regardless of whether the person wants to report what has happened to the police or not. SARCs are designed to be comfortable and multi-functional, providing private space for interviews and examinations, and some may also offer counselling services. Sexual Assault Referral Centres have specialist staff that are trained to help targets of rape and sexual violence make informed decisions about what to do next. You can use this NHS search tool to find the nearest SARC to you or call our helpline and one of our advisers will give you the information you need.
Another thing Roxy could do is get in touch with an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). These advisors have been specially trained to support targets of rape and sexual assault, to ensure that they receive care and understanding and practical support in the aftermath of the attack. They can explain how the criminal justice process works and if someone decides that they do want to report the attack to the police, they will support them through every step of the process. You can find out more about the ISVA service at Safeline here or call our helpline if you would like to use an ISVA service.
If you have experienced a rape or sexual assault please ring the Safeline helpline for support and signposting to your closest SARC and ISVA services or for referral to our free counselling services.
Call us on:
General Helpline: 0808 800 5008
Male Helpline: 0808 800 5005
Young People’s Helpline: 0808 800 5007
Text us on: 07860 027 573
Instant Message via www.safeline.org.uk
We’re open tonight until 11pm. You can find out more about the Helpline and Online Services here and see our Christmas opening hours here.
We’re here to talk if you want to.
Safeline Helpline and Online team