Many people are put in the position of experiencing unwanted sexual contact or are forced in some way into sexual acts. It is never the fault of the person who is being abused. If consent is not given, then anyone subjecting another person to any form of indecent behaviour is committing a crime.
Going out with someone, being married to them, or if they have agreed to sex before, are not excuses. There is no free invitation to have sexual intercourse with someone. If someone does not freely consent and is forced to have sex, then it is rape.
Whatever form it takes, unwanted sexual contact can be a painful experience both physically and emotionally. Rape without physical injury is just as emotionally damaging. This emotional pain can often get worse if the person keeps it to themselves. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, you may not want to or find it difficult to tell someone. There are, however, many ways that you can get support (see below).
Adult residents in Lanarkshire can use the Archway Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Appointments can be arranged by calling 0141 211 8175. You do not have to report what has happened to the Police, but if you choose to, most Police Stations have officers who are specially trained to deal with your situation in a sensitive way. If the assault happened less than 7 days, the Police will arrange to take you to Archway. If it is more than 7 days you can still make a complaint. It is a good idea to bring someone you trust with you, if possible for support.
If you report the incident as soon as possible, this will enable the capture of any forensic evidence. Once you have told the police that you have been raped or sexually assaulted, or the suspect has been charged, you have the right to remain anonymous and none of your details can appear in a paper or on TV or radio.
Help and Support
**Archway** – specialist sexual assault referral centre based in Glasgow and provides forensic medical examinations, sexual health screening, emergency contraception, follow up support and counselling to people over 16 who have experienced recent sexual assault. Appointments can be arranged on 0141 211 8175. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre (LRCC) - 01698 527003**, www.lanrcc.org.uk. LRCC will talk to any woman or girl who has had an unwanted sexual experience
**Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline – 0800 027 1234** (24 hour, confidential, free from landlines – mobile costs may vary) https://sdafmh.org.uk GBV Services based in NHS Lanarkshire offers services to women living in Lanarkshire. Ask a Health Professional to contact us on your behalf.
Rape Crisis Scotland - 08088 01 03 02 (daily, 6pm to midnight) www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk
Women’s Support Project, support for women whose children have been sexually abused – 0141 418 0748, www.womenssupportproject.co.uk
Men and boys can get help and support from Survivors UK - 02035983898, www.survivorsuk.org
General mental health contacts:
Samaritans – 0845 790 9090, www.samaritans.org
Breathing Space (aimed at young men but open to all) – 0800 83 85 87 www.breathingspacescotland.co.uk
Childline (for children and young people only) – 0800 1111, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, www.childline.org.uk