If a patient tells you have they have been raped or sexually assaulted, call us on 020 3299 6900 for advice.

We will be able to tell you whether to advise your patient to come immediately to the Havens for medical care and/or a forensic medical examination, or to visit us at a later date for aftercare. If they need to be seen urgently, we aim to see them within 90 minutes of making the appointment.

In most circumstances, we will want to speak directly to the person being referred before making the appointment.

What details do you need?

We will want to know information such as:

  • when and where the alleged assault happened
  • their age
  • whether there are any concerns for their safety
  • whether they have any mental health or disability needs
  • whether they need an interpreter.

It is also useful – though not vital – to know if the patient:

  • is HIV or hepatitis B/C positive
  • is on ongoing long-term medication including anti-HIV medication
  • is up to date with hepatitis vaccinations
  • uses any form of contraception.

Do they have to involve the police?

Your patient does not have to involve the police at this stage. We can still gather forensic evidence, with their permission. This can be stored in case they decide they want to report the assault at a later date. The Havens can arrange for your patient to speak to the police anonymously.

If your patient wants to report the assault or rape, advise them to contact the police directly.

  • To report the rape or sexual assault, your patient should dial 999.
  • Textphone users should dial 18000.

The police will then call the Haven to arrange an appointment.

If they don’t want to be referred?

If your patient does not want to be referred to the Havens, consider what medical care you can provide them with, such as first aid, emergency contraception, HIV PEP or hep-B vaccinations.

If you are in any doubt about any aspect of patient care, including the preservation of forensic evidence, please call your nearest Haven for advice.

Care and Evidence explains the options in more in depth.

Please note: contacting us for advice or to make a referral does not absolve you of your own safeguarding duties, particularly when dealing with under 18s.