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Rape and sexual assault

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then help is available 24/7. We would encourage you to contact the Bridge House SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) on 0330 223 0362 in the first instance. If you are in danger, always call 999 and get to a safe place.

Bridge House enables victims to receive an informed choice, ensuring that early forensic evidence, guidance and support can be provided by specially trained staff. This enables a victim to make an informed choice about the options they have.

Their friendly team professionals offer free support and practical help to anyone in North Yorkshire who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse 24/7. Their service is completely confidential and you do not have to give any personal information in order to get help. They can help with the following:

  • Support and guidance following the incident
  • A medical assessment
  • A forensic examination (this can be done even if you decide not to report to the Police)
  • Emergency contraception
  • Referrals on to other support services/agencies
  • Safeguarding intervention
  • Aftercare materials.
  • Discuss your options and offer guidance and support if you wish to make a report to the police
  • A referral to the ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) – please see below for more details.

Visit Bridge House SARC’s website to find out more

Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA)

After your initial contact at Bridge House the staff there will discuss the ISVA service with you. ISVAs offer longer term emotional and practical support by accessing your needs. Your ISVA will discuss all the options with you and will provide the support which is best for you. Should you decide to report to the police, your ISVA will be the link between you and the police investigation.

Further help & support

You will find the website addresses and telephone numbers of other local and national organisations that provide help and support for people affected by rape and sexual assault below.

  • IDAS – Independent Domestic Abuse Service: IDAS is a charity that provides comprehensive support services to all those experiencing or affected by domestic abuse. IDAS works throughout York, Harrogate and District, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Craven.
    Website: idas.org.uk
  • Sexual Health Clinic: 01904 721111 | yorsexualhealth.org.uk
  • Yorkshire MESMAC | co.uk | Sexual health services for BAME people, LGB&T people, sex workers, and those misusing drugs.
  • Survive, York: survive-northyorks.org.uk
  • Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire: 01609 643 100 | org| Email for Victims:  help@supportingvictims.org | ​Email for Agencies: supportingvictims@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | ​The Supporting Victims service will provide support for anyone affected by crime, whether reported or not, of any age, including children and young people (wherever possible with consent), and parents or guardians of victims under 18. They are able to provide a wide range of support tailored to your individual needs, including immediate practical support and referral onto emotional and therapeutic support services such as Counselling.
  • Rape Support Line: Information about rape and sexual violence as well as to provide access to information about support and services available to survivors of sexual violence. The Rape Support line is available Tuesday evenings 1700-1900 and Wednesday 1700-2100. Website: idas.org.uk/rapesupport | Phone: 0300 111 0777
  • Rape Crisis: Information about rape and sexual violence and details of your nearest Rape Crisis Centre if you need support. There is also information for family, friends, students and professionals. Website: rapecrisis.org.uk | Phone: 0808 802 9999

Report rape or sexual assault 

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and are fearful for your safety, always call 999 and get to a safe place. If you are not in immediate danger you can contact North Yorkshire Police directly using the non-emergency number 101.

North Yorkshire Police treat all reports of rape and sexual assault seriously. Victims will be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.

Next steps

Your case will be assigned to an officer (OIC) who will be your point of contact throughout the investigation. A specially trained officer will obtain as much information from you as possible regarding the incident. This may be done on a written statement or visually recorded on a DVD. They will explain the police process and actions to you. They will provide you with updates regarding the case including any bail conditions of the suspect.

Support is available through the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Officers can refer the victim to the SARC Co-ordinator for a follow up call to discuss the range of support available. Victims can access support from an Independant Sexual Violence Adviser through the SARC Co-ordinator.

Advice for victims

Save all clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault, unwashed and, if possible, in a paper bag.

Do not:

  • Shower, bath or wash
  • Brush your teeth
  • Disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred. This will help to preserve any evidence.

It is your choice if you wish to report your crime to the police and for this to be investigated. If appropriate, you can still have a forensic medical examination. Any evidence obtained can be carefully stored. If you later choose to make a complaint to the police, all this information will be handed over to the police.