The most important thing we do at the Havens is to make sure you are OK.
That means helping you with how you feel, as well as offering you any medical treatment you may need.
Being raped or sexually assaulted is very frightening. You may feel shocked, ashamed, distressed, angry, confused – a whole load of things at once. This is totally normal.
So don’t worry – you can talk to us and make an appointment to see us. We won’t tell anyone that you’ve called. We’re here to help and make things easier for you.
We won’t judge you – we’ll listen and help you to get through what has happened.
You will meet one of our crisis workers who will make sure you get the support you need. They will explain your options, such as having a forensic medical examination, and support you to make your decision.
You do not have to have an examination. You may just want to talk to someone like a counsellor about what’s happened and get yourself checked for STIs or do a pregnancy test. Your crisis worker can sort that for you.
If you decide to have a forensic medical examination, you will meet one of our specially trained doctors or nurses who will ask you about the assault. All our doctors and nurses are women.
The examination involves them checking your body and taking samples to try to find evidence of what happened. It is voluntary – it will only happen if you say it can. And you can stop it at any time.
Come and see us as soon as you can – it’s easier to make sure you’re ok and not physically injured.
The doctor will also advise you about things such as emergency contraception, dealing with a possible pregnancy, checking for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and getting treatment. She will make a follow-up appointment for you.
You will see one of our young persons’ workers. They’re specially trained to support young people aged 13-18. They can answer your questions and help you with your concerns.
They will help you to get any medical treatment you need, such as tests for STIs, medicines and pregnancy tests. You can also talk them about your sexual health.
If you want, they can arrange for you to see a counsellor or to go to another specialist service if you are finding it difficult to cope. And they can also speak to your parents or carers and explain what has happened if you don’t feel able to.
You have a right to confidentiality. That means we won’t tell anyone you’ve come to see us or let them know what happened unless you say it’s ok. And your parents or carers don’t have to be with you.
But if we are worried about your safety, we might need to speak to a doctor or social worker. We will let you know we are doing this and discuss it with you so you can tell us how you feel. We will listen to any worries you have and take them seriously.
It’s helpful to tell someone as soon as possible about the assault. That way you get the support you need. Try to talk to someone who you trust and feel comfortable with, such as a parent, friend, teacher or doctor.
We can also help here at the Havens. We have specially trained counsellors and health advisers who you can talk to. They can help you to come to terms with what happened and to make decisions about what to do next.