Less than 7 days

If you have experienced rape, sexual assault or other sexual abuse within the past 7 days we recommend contacting the North East SARC Support Service as soon as possible to explore the options available.

You might not have decided whether or not to report to the police yet, but due to the fact that this has happened so recently, there may be time critical services that could be offered while you are making those next step decisions. We want to ensure that your physical and sexual health needs are looked after and will not inform the police without your consent.

I want to report to the police

You can call the police on 101 or 999 yourself, or our SARC Support Coordinator can support you to do that here at the SARC, call the SARC Support Service on 03333 44 8283 or complete a secure online self-referral’ link

  • You can speak to any of the SARC team to explore your options and make an informed decision based on that discussion.
  • If you have made an online self-referral, a SARC Care Coordinator will call you back at a convenient time for you
  • A specially trained officer can come to speak with you.
  • A doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you to ensure that your physical and sexual health needs are looked after, this may include emergency contraception.
  • A doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you for any forensic evidence (even if you have already washed, although there will be more evidence on your body if you feel able to wait until after the examination). 
  • We can offer you practical ongoing support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).
  • We can offer you support from specialist sexual violence counselling services.

Gathering Forensic Evidence

  • Try not to shower or bathe, even though this may be your first instinct.
  • Try not to clean your teeth.
  • If possible ring someone you trust and see if they can be with you. Do not change your clothes. If you do, put everything you were wearing into a plastic bag and keep it somewhere safe.
  • Avoid eating or drinking, especially alcohol. *
  • Don’t comb your hair.
  • Try to avoid going to the toilet until you have been examined. if the rapist used a condom, don’t get rid of it. *
  • Don’t dispose of any sanitary wear you may be using

* The SARC staff can take urine and mouth samples which enables you to have a drink and to use the toilet without concern.

If you are unsure about whether or not to report, SARC staff can in some circumstances arrange for information and evidence to be securely stored. This gives you time to consider your options.

I do not want to report to the police

It is your decision whether you want to report what has happened to you to the police or not.

You can speak to any of the SARC team to explore your options and make an informed decision based on that discussion.

  • Call the SARC Support Service on 03333 44 8283 or complete a secure ‘online self-referral’ link
  • If you have called us, a SARC Support Coordinator will listen to what has happened to you and explain how we can help.
  • If you have made an online self-referral, a SARC Support Coordinator will call you back at a convenient time for you.
  • A doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you to ensure that your physical and sexual health needs are looked after.
  • A doctor or nurse can be arranged to examine you for any forensic evidence which can be stored at the SARC, giving you the choice to report to the police and samples be used as evidence in the future. (Even if you have already washed, although there will be more evidence on your body if you feel able to wait until after the examination).
  • We can offer you practical ongoing support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).
  • We can offer you support from specialist sexual violence counselling services.

If you are in any danger you should ring the police by dialling 999.

Gathering forensic evidence, even if you are not wanting to report to the police

This is important if you want to keep the option of reporting open.

  • Try not to shower or bathe, even though this may be your first instinct.
  • Try not to clean your teeth.
  • If possible ring someone you trust and see if they can be with you. Do not change your clothes. If you do, put everything you were wearing into a plastic bag and keep it somewhere safe.
  • Avoid eating or drinking, especially alcohol. *
  • Don’t comb your hair.
  • Try to avoid going to the toilet until you have been examined. if the rapist used a condom, don’t get rid of it. *
  • Don’t dispose of any sanitary wear you may be using

* The SARC staff can take urine and mouth samples which enables you to have a drink and to use the toilet without concern.

Find your local SARC

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Teesside provides 24/7 support to anyone who has experienced rape and other sexual offences, whether this has happened recently or in the past.

Visit Website

SARC Northumberland Tyne & Wear opened in September 1991 to provide a free, confidential counselling, support and advice service for women (aged 16 and over at the time of the assault) who have been subjected to an attack of a sexual nature.

Visit Website


The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre aims to provide a sensitive and comprehensive service to residents of County Durham and Darlington who have experienced rape or sexual assault.

Visit Website

The SARC Service Crisis Workers provide 24/7 support for all victims of rape and other sexual offences.

Female, 47, Medical Examination, Police Interview

Excellent, very supportive, listened and gave good advice. A massive thank you to the staff for being so supportive with my daughter and myself at this traumatic time for her. You do an excellent job.

Female, 47, Medical Examination, Police Interview
Translate »