Support for victims of sexual offences

Date published: 05 February 2021 07:53

Full Stop

The Full Stop campaign aims to deliver clear, unambiguous messages to perpetrators of sexual offences, and challenges attitudes towards sexual offences.

The campaign reassures victims of sexual offences that support is available and accessible, when they feel ready to ask for it.

What to do if you’ve been the victim of a sexual crime

Sexual offences, including rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, can have a devastating impact on the victim.

If it has happened to you, it is important to remember:

  • 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 talk to someone you trust. It doesn't have to be someone in authority; just someone that you feel comfortable with.

How to report rape or sexual offence in confidence

If you have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed, you can report it to the police in confidence. You can do this by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency, but there are other ways to contact us too, which you can find out about by clicking here.

You will be treated with dignity and respect. Any investigation will be victim-focussed, ensuring that you are kept up to date throughout and provided with all the necessary support and information, which allows you to make informed decisions.

If you are not confident to tell the police yourself, you could tell someone you trust and feel comfortable with, or refer yourself through one of the specialist organisations listed below.

Additional support is available 

The links below will take you through to websites where you can access more support.

Charity Hestia and the Vodafone Foundation have created a free mobile app called Bright Sky to provide information and support. It's available in four languages and has a UK-wide directory of support agencies with contact details.

Find out more about the app here or search 'Bright Sky' on your device app store.

The information here may help you learn more about rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and consent.

What is rape?

Rape is when someone has sex with a person without their consent and does not reasonably believe that the person consents. Most rape victims are women, but men can be victims too.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault can cover a wide range of circumstances, but in the main it concerns the touching of a person by another, with a sexual motive.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwanted attention or unwanted 'sexting' (sending sexual messages and images). It can also include being coerced into watching or being involved in pornography, being subject to sexual bullying, or the victim of 'revenge porn'.

Any of the above crimes can be committed by a stranger, but it's more likely to be someone you know.

What is 'consent'? 

A person consents if he or she agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Watch this short video explaining sex without consent is rape - it's as simple as tea.

Animation courtesy of Emmeline May at, and Blue Seat Studios. Copyright© 2015 RockStarDinosaurPiratePrincess and Blue Seat Studios. Images are Copyright ©2015 Blue Seat Studios.