Preserving evidence

If you wish to report to the police, you are in danger and/or in need of emergency medical assistance call 999.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted in the past 7 days you should:

  • Get to a safe place¬†– if you wish to report to the police, you are in danger and/or in need of emergency medical assistance¬†call 999.
  • If you are absolutely certain you do not want the police involved and are not in danger, contact The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) on 0330 223 0099. The phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can email them on [email protected]
  • Save all of the clothing you were wearing, including any underwear you were wearing at the time and the following day. If possible put them in separate paper bags but carrier bags will be fine. Don’t worry if you have washed your clothes still put them in separate bags.

If you haven’t already, do not:

  • Shower, bath or wash
  • Douche (Douching is washing or cleaning the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluid)
  • Brush your teeth
  • Disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred

If you have been assaulted by something being put into your mouth, you can help to save this evidence by not eating, drinking or smoking, but if you need to, find a container, take a few of sips of water and swill them around your mouth and spit into the container and close it. Take it with you.

Other steps you can take to preserve evidence are:

  • Do not wash any bedding that the incident took place on
  • If your attacker drank anything don’t wash the glass or cup – put it in a separate bag
  • If your attacker smoked, keep any cigarette ends – put them in a separate bag
  • If your attacker chewed gum and discarded it, put it in a separate bag and if possible store it in a fridge
  • Keep any sanitary towels or tampons worn at the time of the incident or since – put them in a separate bag
  • Keep any discarded condoms from the incident – put them in a separate bag

You can take these actions whether you choose to report to the police at this time or not. If evidence is preserved it may be able to be used if you decide to make a report in the future.

You can access the SARC website here: www.theferns-suffolk.org.uk