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HealthInfo Canterbury

Sexual harm

For advice and support, contact Safe to talk. This is a free national 24-hour seven day a week confidential service for anyone looking for help to do with sexual harm. You can get help by phone 0800-044-334, text 4334, or via the website.

If you've had a sexual experience that you didn't want or you've been made to do a sexual act by another person, this is known as sexual harm.

The first thing to do is to go somewhere you feel safe, such as a close friend or family member's home. Also, if you feel able to, tell someone you trust what has happened.

You don't have to decide straight away whether you want to make a formal complaint to the Police. It's OK to take the time you need to decide this.

Getting help

Whether or not you choose to go to the Police or tell anyone else, it's best to go to a doctor as soon as possible if the sexual harm has included rape. If you live in Canterbury or on the West Coast, you can see the doctors and nurses at the Cambridge Clinic. They specialise in looking after people over 12 who've been sexually assaulted. You can see them straight after an assault, or years afterwards if it happened some time ago. You can also go to your own doctor, or the hospital.

You can phone Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury for free 24-hour rape and sexual assault support. Phone 0800-Aviva-now (0800‑28482‑669).

You can also call the Police on (03) 363-7400. It's OK to contact them just to ask for advice and to find out what your options are – you don't have to make a formal complaint.

The Police have a really useful page on their website explaining your choices after a sexual assault. It has written information and videos about topics like support services, medical check- ups and what happens when you go to a Police station.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Support for sexual harm

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2018.

See also:

Referral and support agencies – assault

Page reference: 47648

Review key: HISAA-14477