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The Sexual Assault Referral Centre for the Merseyside Area
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Frequently Asked Questions

Just click on any of the frequently asked questions below to see the answer.

You or a friend or member of your family can report the assault to the police by dialling 999 when you can explain what has happened and arrangements will be made for an officer to come and see you or you call at your local police station.

If you don't want to call the police you can contact SAFE Place 24 hours a day 365 days a year by telephoning 0151 295 3550 where a trained crisis worker will be able to advise you on the help and support that you can receive.

You can also go to your GP, a walk-in centre or the A&E Department of your local hospital.

One of your options is to have a forensic medical examination if the assault took place within the last seven days.

The examination will be carried out by a very experienced and specially trained doctor and you will have a trained crisis worker with you.

We do arrange for the people who use our services to receive specialist support and counselling?
No, we're not the police. SAFE Place is part of NHS Liverpool Community Health Services. We do however work in partnership with Merseyside Police for those people who wish to report a sexual assault to the police.

Yes, we offer a confidential service and we also give people who have been sexually assaulted the opportunity to provide information about your assault to the police.

If a report is made to the police all information continues to remain confidential unless the case goes to court. If there is a court case then the doctor who carried out the forensic medical examination will have to submit a report of the findings of that medical examination to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Yes, of course you can.

We know that it can take some people a long time before they feel able to tell anyone that they have been sexually assaulted and you can call for help and advice at any time no matter how long ago the assault took place.

You just have to call 0151 295 3550.

No, it will be in your best interests not to have a shower or bath before you attend SAFE Place for a forensic medical examination as you don't want to wash the evidence away.

As soon as the examination is over you can have a shower and wash your hair at SAFE Place before you leave if you want to.

No, SAFE Place is not a hospital or even part of a hospital. It is a purpose built suite in a large building and nobody seeing you enter or leave the building would know why you were there.

No, not at all.

One of the reasons that you are asked to contact SAFE Place by telephone is so that we can make an appointment time for you. We only ever see one person at a time.

The appointment will be as soon as possible usually on the same day that you request it unless you prefer to wait until the next day. You can also come in with family or a friend.

No. We offer a confidential service and it is up to you whether you choose to tell anyone what has happened.

In Merseyside we have a specialised Merseyside Police Unity Team and in that team there are specifically trained female officers who will help and support you through the process of reporting a rape or sexual assault.

'His word against mine' is only a piece of the jigsaw and there are many other forms of evidence that can be collected which means that there is a lot more than his word against mine.

If you don't want to report to the police straight away you can still receive the same help and support from SAFE Place but it is important to remember that reporting sexual assault and rape not only helps you but could also help this happening to someone else. There are lots of people who are trained to help you as much as possible.

Go to a place you feel safe such as the home of a relative or a friend. You don't have to report the assault to the police, it is up to you, but the sooner you do the more forensic evidence can be collected by the police or at SAFE Place Merseyside.

If you are not sure what you want to do, go along, with a friend, to our Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SAFE Place Merseyside) where you can have a forensic and medical examination. They can store the forensic results until you make up your mind whether to report to the police or not.

If you do not wish to take legal action, it may be important that you receive the appropriate medical attention you may still need to receive treatment for your injuries, emergency contraception, and checks for sexually transmitted infections.

We hope you will decide to report your attack to the police. While there is no way to change what happened to you, you can seek justice while helping to stop it happening to someone else. Reporting to the police is the key to preventing sexual assault. Every time they arrest a rapist, they're preventing them from committing another attack.

Whether or not you decide to report a rape is entirely your decision but everyone will understand if you decided not to pursue a prosecution. Still, there are many good reasons to report, and some victims say that reporting helped their recovery and helped them regain a feeling of control.

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