- What to do after a rape or assault
- Sexual Assault Response Co-ordination Service (SARCS)
- Reporting to the police
- Safety on campus and reporting to the University
- Sharing intimate images without consent (‘revenge porn’)
- Where to get help
- Archway (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)
- Rape Crisis Glasgow
- South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre (Dumfries)
- Rape Crisis Scotland
- Scottish Women’s Rights Centre
- Survivors UK
- Speak Out Scotland
- SRC Advice Centre
- SRC Gender Based Violence (GBV) Counsellor
- Counselling & Psychological Services
- Scottish Women’s Aid
- Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
- Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre
What to do after a rape or assault
Everyone reacts differently to sexual assault or rape and it is not unusual for feelings to change from day to day. It is important to trust and validate individual feelings and do whatever is needed to recover. This may entail telling a friend, going to a place of safety, having a bath or shower, or crying.
It can be difficult to talk about the assault to friends or family, but it is important to have understanding and support. In order to cope with the trauma of the event, some students try to carry on as normal and don’t tell anyone for a long time. However, often distress can surface a considerable time after the event. No matter how much later, you can always seek help from the University’s Counselling and Psychological Service, your GP, voluntary sector agencies and the police. No one need feel they have to cope on their own simply because they did not report the incident soon after it happened.
If you have just been raped or sexually assaulted:
- Try to be somewhere that feels safe.
- Keep warm and drink plenty of fluids.
- If possible, see if a friend or someone you trust can be with you.
- Have any injuries treated by your doctor or at a hospital.
- If you think you would like to report the assault, contact the police so they can arrange a forensic examination as soon as possible. They will want to get as much evidence as possible, so try not to wash, eat or drink, without compromising your wellbeing.
- If you change your clothes, put them in a bag to give to the police.
- Tell the police if you think you may have been drugged or your drink spiked. They will arrange for blood and urine tests.
- You might not feel like reporting now, but you might in time. So keep the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault, don’t wash them and put them in a plastic bag.
- If you wash, use safe products, not household cleaning products as they can be harmful.
Many people who have been raped or sexually assaulted are understandably concerned about their health. Hospitals and GPs must see you on a confidential basis and not report the assault to the police unless you request/consent to this.
A student may decide to be tested for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection as appropriate. If you prefer not to use your GP there are many clinics which offer free and confidential advice. The closest clinic to the University is the Archway sexual assault referral centre.
If there is a possibility of pregnancy you may want to take the morning after pill (up to 72 hours after) or have a coil fitted (up to 5 days after). You can get emergency contraception at a pharmacy.
Bruising and other injuries that need immediate attention are best dealt with in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital which is located on 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 4TF.
Sexual Assault Co-Ordination Service (SARCS)
As of 01/04/22 a new Scottish law came into force in which all health boards in Scotland now have a statutory duty to provide forensic medical services for survivors of sexual offences via the Sexual Assault Co-Ordination Service (SARCS).
Anyone who has experienced a sexual assault, or rape within the last 7 days will be able to make a “self-referral” to this service and request a Forensic Medical Examination (FME) without first having to make a report to the police. Previously, it was the case that survivors could only be referred by other means such as their GP, the Police or other health professional.
Access to this service is via the NHS Scotland sexual assault self-referral phone line: 0800 148 88 88. Open 24/7. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.
The sexual assault self-referral phone service can help you:
- arrange a forensic medical examination (FME)
- refer you to a sexual assault response co-ordination service (SARCS) to make sure your immediate health and wellbeing needs are met after a rape or sexual assault
- get in touch with local services
More information can be found here.
Reporting to the police
Sexual violence is a criminal offence and a student can report the perpetrator to the police with a view to prosecution. It is your choice. This can be done later, but the reason for reporting a sexual assault immediately is so that evidence can be taken. Evidence will be collected by means of a medical examination by a police surgeon, who will be a GP employed part-time by the police.
If the attack was physically violent the police forensic team may also wish to visit the scene of the crime to collect more evidence.
Alternatively and with consent, if you reported this intially to the NHS Sexual Assault Co-Ordination Service (SARCS), the evidence collected via a self-referral forensic medical examination (FME) can be provided to the Police. Importantly, SARCS will keep your evidence safe for 26 months from the day of your examination. This is called the ‘retention period’. During that time, you can decide if you want to tell the police about the assault. Samples are stored securely by your health board and cannot be accessed by anyone, including the police, without your permission. More information about SARCS retention period can be found here.
When going to the police station you can take someone with you, such as a friend, family member or professional worker. Ask for an officer who has had special training (this would usually be a woman). Today the police are trained to use tact and sensitivity. No one, even the police, has the right to ask for disclosure of any personal details about previous relationships and sexual life.
The police may require clothing to be left for forensic examination. The police station can provide other clothing, but it is a good idea to take a change of clothes along to the station.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can ring 101 and ask for the police to visit you at home to take your report.
If you feel unable to provide the statement immediately after the assault, you may arrange another time for this to be taken. If English is not your first language, the police can arrange for an interpreter to be present. The police officer will explain police procedures and give advice and information on the next stages, including the court process.
Safety on campus and reporting to the University
If the incident occurred on campus, or if you are worried about your safety whilst on campus, then you can contact Campus Security. If the perpetrator was another student, or a member of University staff, you may wish to report the matter to the University. You can do this via the University’s Reporting Form. If you have questions or need help with any of this please feel free to speak in confidence with the SRC Advice Centre (details below).
University of Glasgow information on sexual violence.
Sharing intimate images without consent (‘revenge porn’)
It is a criminal offence for someone to share, or threaten to share, an intimate image of you without your consent (sometimes known as ‘revenge porn’), and it is recognised as a form of sexual abuse by Scottish Women’s Aid. For more information about the support available to you, including useful contacts and helplines, please have a look at the Scottish Government’s Intimate Image Victim Support webpage.
You can also find out more information about how cases are dealt with, in the illustrative case studies in the Scottish Government’s ‘Not Yours To Share’ campaign.
As with other kinds of sexual violence, if you would like to report the matter to the University, the SRC Advice Centre can offer you help with this. See next section for contact details.
Where to get help
Archway (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)
Archway gives sensitive support and physical examination for people who have been raped or seriously sexually assaulted.
6 Sandyford Place
Telephone: 0141 211 8175
Rape Crisis Glasgow
Rape Crisis Glasgow provides a free and confidential support service to women and girls who have experienced rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse.
The service offers:
- A free telephone helpline which is open seven days a week
- An instant message facility
- Email support
- Face-to-face support with trained support workers
- Group support
- A drop-in service each Wednesday
- Evening and weekend appointments
Rape Crisis Centre
30 Bell Street
Glasgow G1 1LG
Helpline: 08088 00 00 14
South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre (Dumfries)
South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre provides support to women, men and children.
The service offers:
- Emotional Support
- Group work in educational/community settings around the prevention of sexual violence.
South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre
1a Irving Street
Dumfries DG1 1EL
Telephone: 01387 253113
Rape Crisis Scotland
Rape Crisis Scotland provides crisis support for anyone in Scotland affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives. They also provide the Rape Crisis Scotland National Helpline. The Helpline offers free and confidential support and information by phone or email. The service is available to women and men affected by sexual violence. The helpline can also put you in touch with local rape crisis centres or other services if you need longer-term support.
Freephone: 08088 01 03 02 available all week 6 pm – midnight
for deaf and hard of hearing: https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/help-deaf/
Scottish Women’s Rights Centre
Free, confidential specialist legal advice and advocacy service for women who have been affected by violence or abuse in Scotland. The centre runs a helpline, solicitor surgeries and has a variety of information resources on its website summarising legal rights and options, plus the ‘Follow-It’ app for recording instances of stalking. The Centre may be also able to provide legal representation in some situations.
All details on the website: www.scottishwomensrightscentre.org.uk
Help for boys and men who have been raped or sexually abused.
Web chat: see Survivors UK.
Speak Out Scotland
Help for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 332 9326 | Website: www.speakoutscotland.org/
SRC Advice Centre
The SRC Advice Centre offers free and confidential advice on a wide range of subjects and is a Third Party Reporting Centre for Hate Crime.
If the perpetrator of the assault is a student of the University, the Advice Centre team can also assist you with reporting them to the University under the Code of Student Conduct. This process normally requires that you submit a written statement to the University providing details of the assault and can result in disciplinary action being taken against the offending student.
The Advice Centre is located on the ground floor of the McIntyre Building (next to the University Main Gate) and is staffed by professional and experienced advisers.
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 330 5360
SRC Gender Based Violence (GBV) Counsellor
In partnership, with the University's Counselling & Psychological Services, the SRC Advice Centre will also be hosting weekly bookable appointment sessions with a Gender Based Violence Counsellor. These sessions will run each Tuesday within the Advice Centre.
Further details on how to book an appointment can be found at our page here:
SRC GBV Counselling appointments
Counselling & Psychological Services
Counselling & Psychological Services support students and staff to overcome concerns and difficulties, aid mental health and wellbeing, and to thrive at Glasgow. You can register for an appointment to speak with a counsellor here:
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 330 4528
Scottish Women’s Aid
Scottish Women’s Aid is the lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse. Scottish Women’s Aid is the national office of the Women’s Aid network and there are 36 local Women’s Aid branches in Scotland.
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
helpline: 0800 027 1234 (free, 24hrs)
Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre
A range of support services specifically tailored to Muslim women.
Website: Amina Muslim Women Resource Centre
Helpline: 0808 801 0301
Support for people experiencing domestic abuse in certain areas of Scotland, who identify as men, or LGBTQ+