If you have just been raped you want to get some information about where you can get medical treatment, support, and how you can report to the police if you decide to do so.

Your physical safety and wellbeing

Rape is a crime of violence, an exertion of power and control, and a violation of a woman’s most personal and intimate space. Not all rapes result in physical injuries but if you have been raped and you are injured, it’s important that you get medical treatment, especially if you have a head injury, if you have lost consciousness, or if you are bleeding. The NHS Sexual Assault Response Co-ordination Service (SARCS) website has more comprehensive information on when you should go to Accident and Emergency after an assault: Injuries from a rape or sexual assault | NHS inform

If you feel unsafe or that you are still in danger from the man who raped you, you can contact the police on 999 if it’s an emergency, or on 111 if you need advice and information. The Police Scotland website has information about reporting with a short video explaining the process: Report a sexual crime or rape? – Police Scotland

Whether or not you decide to report the rape to the police, you can visit one of the NHS SARCS where you can get a forensic examination, access to emergency contraception if you need it, and testing in case of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

You can contact their phone line, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 0800 148 88 88 or visit their website for information if you were raped within the last 7 days – 7 days and under | NHS inform. You can also get information on what the SARCS can do for you if you were raped more than 7 days ago – Over 7 days | NHS inform. There is also information available if you, or someone you know, is under 16 years of age – If you’re under 16 | NHS inform

Calls are free from land lines and mobiles.

The forensic examination can be carried out up to 7 days after the rape and if you have not reported to the police the samples taken from you will be kept for 2 years and 2 months in case you decide to report to police later. The samples will be destroyed after 2 years and 2 months.

If you are going for a forensic medical examination, try not to wash or, if you feel you cannot wait, take a shower rather than a bath. It can also be useful to put the clothes you were wearing in a clean plastic bag and take them with you. You have the right to ask for a woman forensic examiner, though it may take extra time for one to be available.

If you don’t want to contact the SARCS service, you can still visit one of the Lothian Sexual Health clinics for emergency contraception and STI testing, though you won’t be able to get a forensic examination. You can check out where the clinics are sited on Local Clinics in Your Area | Lothian Sexual Health. You can also get emergency contraception free from your local pharmacy.

In Edinburgh city, the sexual health clinic is at 2a Chalmers Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9ES and can be contacted on 0131 536 1071 or you can make an appointment with them at Lothian Sexual Health | Sexual Health advice for Edinburgh and the Lothians


In the aftermath of a rape, women most commonly tell a friend or family member who may be able to offer some support. But it can be useful to have someone who is not close and who you can speak to regularly. If you would like support from Beira’s Place you can contact us on 0131 526 3944 or email us on support@beirasplace.org.uk. You can also contact us through our instant messaging function on this site; this is available Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.

For support at other times, you can call the national rape and sexual assault helpline on 08088 01 03 02 which is open every night of the week from 5pm until midnight. Visit their website on www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk. This helpline is open to both women and men.

If you are experiencing sexual violence and abuse from your partner, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234. The line is open 24 hours a day. Visit their website on www.sdafmh.org.uk. This helpline is open to both women and men.

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