Justice Advocacy Service
What is Justice Advocacy Support?
Sometimes when you have experienced a traumatic and/or confusing sexual experience it can be difficult to think about, and process, what happened. Sometimes you may be unsure what to do. You may feel you don’t have any options or you might think you have too many.
Justice Advocacy Support is a safe space for you to talk freely about your choices without being judged or pressured into making any decisions. You are in control of any decisions you make. This support is all at your pace, free and confidential.
Our Justice Advocacy Service provides dedicated staff to support survivors with all aspects of the police reporting and court process as well as information on your rights and choices.
Types of Justice Advocacy Support...
Information & Your Options
Find out more about…
- What a sexual crime is?
- The Police reporting process?
- Your options after a sexual assault/abuse?
We provide free and confidential information about your choices. There are many reasons why someone decides to report a sexual crime to the police and many reasons why they don’t. You make the decision and we can support you every step of the way, which includes choosing to no longer engage with RASAC P&K.
I was so overwhelmed and felt like I had no control after I reported to the Police. But RASAC helped me understand the process, my choices and also keep informed of what was happening in the case. That helped so much and although was a very stressful time it made it easier.
Reporting to the Police
Are you thinking about…
- Reporting a historic sexual assault or abuse?
- Reporting a recent sexual assault or abuse?
We can support you to understand the process, and if you choose, we can support you through the Police reporting and accompany you to any forensic examination (if within 7 days of assault). If you were sexually abused/raped/assaulted yesterday or 40 years ago the police will take your report seriously, regardless of how long ago it was. We can also support you with any sexual health medical appointments and refer you to our Therapeutic Support Services, if you decide that is what you want.
After I was assaulted I didn’t know what to do. RASAC helped me understand my choices and I decided to tell the police what happened to me. Although it was difficult RASAC were with me each step of the way from the forensic examination to the police interviews which I had at RASAC as I didn’t want to go to the Police station. It made a big difference to me. Thank you
Have you already reported to the Police and want to know more about…
- The court process?
- What support you can have in court?
We can provide you with information on the court process and/or support you through every step until the final verdict. You decide how much support you want throughout the process. We can also refer you to our post-court Therapeutic Support.
SARCS (Sexual Assault Response Coordination Service)
Have you been sexually assaulted in the last 7 days…
- Need medical support?
- Not sure if you should report to the Police?
We understand that the days following a sexual assault can be very difficult and Police reporting may feel overwhelming. SARCS facilitates a forensics examination where evidence is gathered without Police reporting, enabling you to report at a later date if you decide to. You can also be supported with other immediate healthcare needs, such as emergency contraception.
You can call SARCS directly and self refer or we can call on your behalf and support you through the process. The choice is yours. To find out more about this service and how we can support you visit our SARCS web page.
You have options. You make the choices.
If you are 16 years or older and have recently been sexually assaulted and you are thinking of reporting to the Police it is really important that you:
- Don’t wash, eat or drink if at all possible. This is to ensure that the best forensic evidence can be gathered.
- Place any clothing you wore during the incident (or just after) in a clean plastic bag, don’t wash them or throw them away, including bed sheets, underwear and sanitary products.
- If you think that you have been ‘spiked’ (drugged) you need to be aware that blood and urine tests need to be completed as soon as possible to be used as evidence.
Option 1 - Contact Police to Report
If would like to report the incident directly to the police, you can contact the police on 101 (999 if you are in immediate danger). The Police will want to arrange a forensic examination as soon as possible to gather any evidence. They will interview you at a location that you both agree on, such as a police station, your home, RASAC P&K or other location you feel safe in. You can do this by yourself or we can support you every step of the way to report.
Option 2 - Find out more about Your Choices and how we can Support you
If you are not sure about reporting and want to find out more about the process; or would like support in contacting the police about reporting you can contact RASAC P&K. Our Justice Advocacy Service provides dedicated staff to support survivors with all aspects of the reporting and court process as well as information on your rights.
We will not contact the police without your consent (unless we are concerned that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk). We can provide you with the information you need to make your decisions. We will respect and support your decision to report or not to report.
If you choose to report:
- The police can interview you in our premises (or other you feel safe in) with a member of our staff present to support you if you wish.
- We can accompany you to the forensics examination if you wish
- We can support you throughout the justice system from reporting to court if that is what you chose.
Option 3 - Decide Not to Report
You decide not to report. This is your choice, no-one can make this decision for you.
Although you might not feel like reporting now, you might in time. So you might want to keep the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault, don’t wash them and put them in a clean plastic bag. Please see the section on the Sexual Assault Response Coordination Service (SARCS) to find out about your options without reporting to the police. Also see our section on the support we provide for survivors.
When you wash yourself, use safe products, not household cleaning products as they can be harmful.
We are here to Listen, Believe and Support so if you pick up the phone or email us, we will respond.
Be kind to yourself, it is normal to have a wide range of feelings or you may feel numb. There is no right way or wrong way to react when you have experienced sexual violence. Read more about how you might be feeling after a sexual assaults/rape.
Useful contacts in this section:
- RASAC P&K Helpline: 01738 630965 (9am-5pm weekdays - you may need to leave a message)
- RASAC P&K Support Email: Support@rasacpk.org.uk
- Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline: 08088 01 03 02 (7 day 5pm - midnight)
- SARCS: 0800 148 88 88 (24/7)
- Police Scotland Emergency: 999 (24/7)
- Police Scotland Non- Emergency:101 (24/7)
- NHS 24 Scotland Helpline – 111 (24/7)
If you are looking to refer any young person (12+) or adult woman to RASAC for Support please ensure you fill in all relevant sections of our referral form and ensure that the individual you are referring signs the form. We aim to offer an initial appointment to the individual within two to three weeks.