Frequently Asked Questions

A sexual assault is any sexual act that a person did not consent to, or is forced into against their will. It is a form of sexual violence and includes rape (an assault involving penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth), or other sexual offences, such as groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse or the torture of a person in a sexual manner.

Sexual assault is an act that is carried out without the victim’s active consent. This means they didn’t agree to it.

It is not uncommon for a victim of sexual assault to have no physical injuries or signs of their assault. But sexual assault is still a crime and can be reported to the police in the same way as other crimes

Hope House SARC can be accessed by people in Gloucestershire who have been victims of sexual assault or rape, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

No, you do not have to report the matter to the police. The SARC is still here to help you and will respect your decision.

No, you can refer yourself to Hope House SARC.
You can ring our helpline 0300 421 8400 and speak to a trained crisis worker who can offer advice on your options and arrange an appointment to attend the centre if required.

Yes, we can help refer you to a counsellor or other relevant support services.

If the assault took place within the last 7 days one of your options may be to have a forensic medical examination. If you decide to have a forensic medical examination the swabs will be kept anonymously at Hope House SARC for up to two years. This enables you to have time to make a decision about whether or not to report this to the police.

Yes, Hope House SARC is a confidential service. It is up to you if you decide to tell anybody about what has happened. We may need to break confidentiality if we believe you or someone else is at risk of serious harm. We would keep you informed of this wherever possible. We need to share information with other agencies if we believe a child or vulnerable adult has been or is at risk of serious harm.

No, Hope House SARC service is confidential. If you are referring yourself the police will not be told of your report. We work in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary for those people who do wish to make a report to the police.

More information about the forensic medical examination is available as a PDF to view here, courtesy of The Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine.

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