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Sexual Assault

Everyone has the right to say 'no' to sex on any occasion and under any circumstances, regardless of whether they've given consent to sex with that person in the past. Sex without consent is rape, whether it takes place within a marriage, relationship or with someone that you don’t know.

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, please remember it is not your fault. Regardless of what you might have been wearing, how much you’d had to drink or who was involved.

"There is no excuse for sexual violence and rape– it can never be justified, it can never be explained away and there is no context in which it is valid, understandable or acceptable. "

A common myth surrounding rape and other forms of sexual violence is the belief that these crimes are mostly committed by strangers, around 85% of survivors know their attacker prior to the rape or assault and often sexual violence is committed by a partner or ex-partner (Source: Rape Crisis).

Staying in a relationship that involves or has involved sexual violence does not mean a person is 'weak' or any less deserving of specialist support and justice than someone raped in any other kind of circumstance.

What is drug rape?

The term 'drug rape' or 'drug-assisted rape' is used, particularly by the media, to refer to rape or sexual assault that takes place after the perpetrator has administered a drug to their victim, often through a drink and often in a social setting such as a bar or nightclub.

The drug Rohypnol is sometimes referred to as the 'date rape drug' but other drugs, including prescription medication and most often alcohol, can be used to incapacitate a person or to try and make them vulnerable to a sexual attack

If a person is incapacitated through taking drugs or alcohol, legally they are unable to consent to sex. Sex without consent is rape.

Collecting evidence

If you want forensic evidence to be collected, you should try and seek help within 72 hours and if possible, take these steps:

  • Don’t wash
  • Don’t brush your teeth
  • Do not change your clothes
  • If you do change your clothes, do not wash them and put them in a clean plastic bag
  • Try not go to the toilet
  • Do not clear up anything from the area of the incident


Don't worry:
if you have already done some of these things. It's possible that there is still forensic evidence to collect.

Reporting a crime and support

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped there are different services to support you

Call 999 for emergency assistance from the Police

West Yorkshire Police has specially trained officers, who are dedicated to helping and supporting victims of all sexual assault and rape. These officers will investigate offences in a discreet and professional manner, offering support and guidance from the time of reporting through to the conclusion of an investigation.

West Yorkshire Police treat historic incidents of rape or sexual assault just as seriously as recent ones. If you would like to report a crime that has happened in the past please call 101 and a specially trained officer will attend.

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

Helpline: 01924 298954

A confidential helpline is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm with trained workers who are there to listen and offer support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. They can also provide information about other services and agencies in West Yorkshire.

You do not have to report to the police in order to access this service.

If you are 16 or over and have been raped or sexually assaulted within the past 7 days you can contact the service. A Crisis Worker will discuss your options with you and, if you wish, can arrange for you to have a forensic medical examination.

Evidence gained from an examination will be stored by the SARC for up to 7 years. If, in future, you do decide to report the incident to the Police, we can help you with his process.

You will still be able to access emotional and practical support through the SARC if you do not have a forensic medical examination.

The STAR Project (Surviving Trauma after Rape)

This is a free support service for Females and Males aged 14 and over who have been raped or sexually assaulted based at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in West Yorkshire.

STAR offers counselling, emotional and practical support throughout West Yorkshire.

The offence does not have to be reported to the Police in order to access the service, and the service is provided from a range of premises across West Yorkshire making it easily accessible to all.

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