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You can contact the police on 999 if the offence has just happened, you do not feel safe or if you are at risk of immediate harm. If you are safe please call the police on 101.

When you contact the police you will usually speak to a specially trained police officer who has received training in helping people who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused.

They will want some information about what has happened to you and some basic details like your name and address. They will understand that you may be in distress and it is important to try and be calm so they can get help to you as quickly as possible.

An officer will meet with you face to face as soon as possible in a safe and appropriate place and ask you what has happened and look at the circumstances of the assault. They will document everything you say and make sure you get the right support and information quickly.

They will offer you an appointment to attend The Ferns so that we can assess your medical needs, collect any forensic medical evidence that could be used in an investigation and also provide you with on-going support through any criminal investigation as well as referring on for counselling.

The examination that takes place at The Ferns is conducted as part of the police investigation into a criminal offence. The police may also need to gather other evidence. This might come from where the incident took place. If the offender has been arrested they may take medical evidence from them or any other relevant people or places.

The police will also want to interview you in order to take a full account of what happened. You can provide this as a written statement or using a video recording. The police will discuss this with you, but the decision is yours.

We know that going through this process can be very difficult, so there is support available to you if you would like it. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor can offer practical and emotional support, and with your consent, you can be referred to them, just ask your police officer.