Help for victims of rape and sexual assault

What is rape?

Rape is when someone forces another person to have sex against their will. Most rape victims are female, but men can be victims too.

Sexual assault is being forced or pressured to take part in sexual activity including unwanted touching, 'sexting' (texting sexual images), being forced to watch or be involved in pornography or sexual bullying.

Rape or sexual assault can be committed by a stranger, but it's more likely to be someone you know.

 

What to do if you’ve been raped

Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes that can have a devastating affect.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted it's important to remember that:

  • you are not to blame; the person who raped or assaulted you is to blame
  • you do not have to cope on your own
  • there are many support services that can help you. They know how difficult it is for people to come forward and will respect and believe you

If this has happened to you, try and find someone you trust to talk to. It doesn't have to be someone in authority; just someone that you feel comfortable with.

 

Reporting a rape

If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, you can report it to the police.

If you're under 17, the Child Protection Unit of your local police will deal with your case.

 

The Apollo Unit is a dedicated rape investigation unit based in force, covering the whole of South Yorkshire.

The unit consists of mainly female officers who are specially trained in the area of rape and sexual assault whose primary aim to is provide help and support to you throughout the criminal justice process.

Apollo officers are able to arrange additional tailored support for you because we understand that your situation and emotions are unique to you and deal primarily with adult victims, deemed as being over 16 years of age.

The support provided varies depending on the support that you want, but can include:

  • Someone to talk to
  • If you are unsure about reporting the crime,  information and advice can be provided as well as information on what would happen
  • A dedicated, specially trained officer who will be your personal point of contact and who will organise and arrange the support and assistance you would like
  • At all stages of the process no matter how far you want to take things, information advice and personal support will be there every step of the way
  • Complete anonymity throughout your case (provided by law)

If your case goes to court, and you have to give evidence, there are a number of special measures available to help you. For example, you could give your main evidence by a video recording; through a video link or in private or from behind a screen. If you're in Crown Court, judges and lawyers can be asked to remove their wigs and gowns if that makes you feel more comfortable.

The police and Crown Prosecution Service will talk to you about your options.

Contact the Apollo Unit anonymously on  01709832768

Additional support is also available, including: