What to Expect
Our promise: We listen, We believe, We support.
SARC staff will help you to understand the choices available to you and you will choose what services you want to use.
You do not have to talk to the police unless you want to.
What happens when I arrive?
You will meet a SARC Support Coordinator who will sit down with you and talk to you about your options.
This may include arranging for somebody to check your immediate physical and sexual health needs.
We will work with you at your pace and you will not need to tell us every detail about what has happened. We won’t insist that you tell the police but we will want to make sure that you are safe.
Forensic Medical Examination
If there is a need for a forensic medical examination, this will be arranged and SARC staff will talk with you to answer any questions you might have.
The examination will collect evidence which might help with your investigation if you have reported to the police or if you decide you might want to go to the police at a later date.
The collection of forensic evidence can include an intimate examination but may also include the collection of clothing and other items.
It is better to get this done as early as possible after the assault so that evidence is not lost.
Sexual Health and Emergency Contraception
Your sexual health is very important. We can provide emergency contraception if you need it and also carry out a pregnancy test if you think you are already pregnant.
You might be offered post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
We don’t provide STI testing and wider sexual health services at the SARC but we can arrange appointments with local Sexual Health Clinics at an appropriate time for you.
Support and Counselling
We understand that it it can be very difficult to talk about how you are feeling. Our staff are trained to meet the unique needs of people who access our service and are dedicated to offering judgment-free support.
Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service
An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) can offers face to face as well as telephone support. Their support is for emotional issues and practical support helping you to deal with and work through what has happened. This does not involve going over the incident, but working through your worries and concerns and dealing with how you are feeling now.
Sexual Violence counselling is available through partner organisations who specialise in working with people who have experienced sexual violence. SARC staff will discuss the services available and, with your consent, refer you to the appropriate support.
Reporting to the Police
If you have already reported, SARC staff can work in partnership with the police to support you through the process.
If you are thinking about reporting, we can explain what this will involve and can support you to take the next steps.
We offer a judgement-free service and provide support regardless of whether you choose to report or not.
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.
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.
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.