Sexual Violence

Strategies to protect yourself

If you are a victim of sexual violence:
  • Talk to an adult whom you trust and explain what happened. Ask him/her to go with you to a police station (if you want to report the crime). A forensic examination will be conducted by a police doctor at the police station. If you do not want to report, you can go to a hospital / GP / Genito Urinary Medicine or other Clinic. If you are at risk of being further harmed or abused, the professional will need to involve social services or the police in order to protect you.
  • It is best not to change your clothes before you go. If you need to change them put everything in a paper bag and seal it (to prevent the destruction of forensic evidence).
  • Even if you don’t have visible markings that you were a victim of violence (such as injuries and wounds), there may be traces of biological harm or risk of sexually transmitted infections that can be treated and collected as evidence.
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  • You can also ask for professional help. There are organisations who can give you support and advice free of charge. You don’t need to make a report to the police. See How and where can I get support? for more information.


  • Some strategies to keep yourself safe:
    • If the offender is someone you know avoid being with him/ her. If you must be in their presence, do it in the company of others or in public places.
    • Avoid walking alone or down streets that you do not know well.
    • Do things in the company of other people (your friends, for example).
    • Keep important telephone contacts on your mobile phone to ask for help quickly if needed.
    • If you feel that you are in danger run to a safer place or a place with more people.
    • In an emergency situation you can call 999. Tell the professional that answers your call your name, where you are and what happened. If necessary, police and emergency medical professionals will be sent.