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Evidence in sexual violence cases

If you are thinking about reporting a rape, attempted rape or sexual assault which has just happened, the more evidence you keep, the greater the chance of finding and convicting the person who assaulted you.

But you can still report at a later time (days, weeks, months, years) even if you have not kept evidence. If you do not feel up to keeping evidence like this, that is entirely your decision. If you do decide to keep evidence here are some of the best ways to do this:

Some suggestions for keeping evidence are:

  • Contact the police as soon as possible (101 or 999) so they can arrange a forensic examination - we can go with you
  • If you’re not yet sure whether you’d like to report a recent sexual assault to the police, then you can contact The Meadows, which can offer a forensic medical examination without you having to speak to the police. They can store forensic evidence while you decide whether you’d like to report in future or not. Details can be found here:
  • Tell the police if you think you may have been drugged or your drink ‘spiked’ - they will arrange for blood and urine tests
  • Try not to change your clothes. But if you do, put them in a clean bag - ideally a paper bag - to give to the police
  • Try not shower or bathe even though this may be your first instinct
  • Try not to clean your teeth
  • Try not to eat or drink, especially alcohol
  • Try not to comb your hair
  • Try not to go to the toilet until you have been examined
  • Try not to smoke
  • Keep any sanitary products you were wearing at the time or afterwards
  • If the attacker used a condom keep it
  • Take any evidence you have with you to the police

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