Rape and sexual assault

Are you worried someone you know may have been made to have sex when they did not want to?

If you know for certain someone has been raped or sexually assaulted, you should encourage them to seek immediate help and medical advice.

You can contact your local police station or speak to your Safer Schools Officer or Safer Neighbourhoods Team - if it's an emergency you should call 999. Or for more information visit the ‘How to contact us’ page on this site.

If you or the victim feels unable to report the incident to the police, you can contact the Havens, specialist centres in London for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. They can help with recovery, both physically and emotionally, from the ordeal. Visit their site here.

What else can you do?

Talking to them is a good start and making sure they know you are there for them.

It is a good idea to encourage them to get help. Or you could speak to someone on their behalf such as:

  • a parent or another family member
  • a teacher or another responsible and trustworthy adult
  • a professional, in confidence, at ChildLine on 0800 1111
  • an organisation such as The Havens

You could also report the incident to the police on their behalf.

If you think something might have happened but are not sure, keep reading.

Feelings victims can have

One of the best ways to understand what is happening to them is to try talking to them - especially if they're a close friend. But of course, it will depend on the person. You will need to understand that people who have experienced rape or sexual assault might:

  • be embarrassed about it
  • be thinking it's their fault
  • be feeling lost, alone and frightened
  • become upset or angry if you try to talk to them about it
  • think people won't believe them
  • be afraid of what people might think

No-one deserves it

No matter who they are, how old they are or how they know the person who abused them, it's wrong.

  • It is an abuse of power.
  • It can be extremely distressing and humiliating, and is never the victims fault.

They might not want to talk about it, but will need help.

It is important that they seek help and medical advice as soon as possible, even if they do not have any physical injuries.

Rape and sexual assault are very serious crimes. If you or the victim feels ready to report them it's important that you do.

Getting more help

For more information about rape and sexual assault visit our ‘Get the facts’ or ‘More help and advice’ pages.

Or for other related topics, take a look at our section on domestic violence and abuse.

Rape and sexual assault