Reporting Sexual Assualt
The Cambridgeshire Police force have specially trained police officers to deal with crimes of sexual violence. When someone contacts the police to report a sexual assault, the duty police officer will call out a specially trained officer who will then carry out the investigation.
For information and advice on reporting Rape see the information on the Rape Crisis Centre England website.
At the police station, the person reporting the attack will be interviewed (and a statement will be produced) and a medical examination performed.
The person involved has the right to have a friend with them while giving a statement. The police may ask personal questions, but no one should feel that they have to answer these if they are unable to do so. A detailed examination is performed to obtain evidence, and if a woman reports the crime a female police officer will be present. The medical examination does not include pregnancy testing or testing for any sexually transmitted disease. These tests can be carried out at any Sexual Health Clinic.
Sexual Assault Referral Centres
SARCs are specialist 24/7 services for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
They aim to be one-stop services, providing the following under one roof: medical care and forensic examination following assault/rape, counselling and – in some locations – sexual health services. Services are free of charge and provided to women, men, young people and children (although not all centres may currently be able to assist children).
Most SARCs are able to offer services to anyone including those who do not wish to report the assault to the police (‘self referrals’).
For more information and a directory of services, see this Rape Crisis Centre page.
Cambridgeshire’s SARC is in Peterborough.
Support after Sexual Assault
Cambridge Rape Crisis provides a phoneline twice a week which offers a confidential service of support and information provided over the telephone.
Victim Support provide a confidential phoneline for support and information on any crime.
The NHS also provides information and advice on help and support after sexual assault
In Cambridge, Centre 33 is an advice centre that you can drop into without appointment. They offer counselling and support to survivors of sexual assault and rape.
The Women’s Campaign set up Cambridge Speaks Out which is a testimonial website for survivors of sexual assault and rape. Survivors are often unable to speak out about what has happened to them. This site is open to all Cambridge UK residents who want to speak out about what has happened to them.
If you survived sexual assault as a child and want to talk about it, Choices Counselling in Cambridge specialise in this. Call them on 01223 358149