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Rape and Sexual Assault

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted it is important to get help right away.

If the assault occurred within the last five days, you need to consider the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and get help and advice as soon as possible.

However, even if the assault was in the past, you can still access the services below.

  • The Emerald Centre is a dedicated Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) providing a comprehensive service to women and men aged 16 years and over who have been raped or sexually assaulted, recently or in the past. You can access the Emerald Centre whether or not you decide to report the assault to the police. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a member of staff will assist you with what to do next. Call 01234 897052.
  • The Luton Sexual Health helpline can advise and give access to emotional support, emergency contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing, post exposure prophylaxis and hepatitis B vaccination. Call 01582 718959.
  • The Hope Programme is an independent charity offering a telephone helpline, support and counselling to people aged over 10 who have suffered rape or sexual violence, including sexual assault, child sexual exploitation and stalking, either recently or in the past. It provides free, one-to-one counselling with professional and specially trained counsellors in safe, accessible locations. The aim of the counselling is to help victims to cope and recover from the aftermath and trauma of the harm caused. The confidential helpline is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm, with a 24-hour answerphone service. Call: 0300 365 1045.
  • Victim Support Bedfordshire. Call: 0300 303 0165 (lines open Monday–Friday, 10.30am–6.30pm; Saturday 10am–4pm)

If you want to report the assault:

  • Call the local police or 999.
  • Try to preserve any evidence by saving all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault.
  • Don’t shower or wash, eat, drink or smoke, or brush your teeth.
  • Try not to disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.

 

Remember, any sexual act that you do not explicitly agree to is an assault and people cannot give true consent if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.