Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
Open 24/7 all year round.
To find details of your nearest SARC visit the NHS website
Benefits of SARCs
- Independent medical centres not linked to police.
- Private, safe, discreet and caring environments designed for all survivors of sexual assault or rape - including men, women and children.
- Visit anonymously - they keep what you tell them confidential unless you say otherwise.
- Specialist support and services include medical, practical and emotional care, regardless of whether you want to report to police.
- Specially trained doctors and counselors.
- Specialist staff trained to help you make informed decisions about what to do next.
- It’s up to you whether they pass your details to police.
- If you're considering reporting to police, they can arrange for you to have an informal talk with a specially trained officer who can explain what’s involved.
- They can gather forensic evidence from you that could be used in court. This is stored, so it is available should you later decide to go to police.
- You won’t be judged, you will be believed and, most importantly, never be pressured to do anything you’re uncomfortable with.
Attending without police
We understand not everyone’s ready to go to police. You can visit anonymously and in confidence without having to report a crime. There are also a number of charities that can help.
You are in no way committing to speaking to police. However, if you would like to, arrangements can be made for you to speak to a specially trained police officer who will be able to talk you through a police investigation.
If they gather forensic evidence you have control over the samples they take. If you agree, SARCs can give them to the police for testing without disclosing your identity. Or you can choose for the SARC to store your samples until you’ve decided what to do. There’s no time limit for reporting an offence.
If police tests produce results from your samples, the SARC will let you know and help you decide what to do next. Staff will discuss all of these options fully with you.
Attending with police
If you come to a SARC with police, they’ll keep samples taken during the medical examination for testing. Any information and results obtained are police evidence and police will liaise directly with you about their findings.