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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Sexual assault of youth & teens

Sexual assault or abuse is when someone:

If you have been sexually assaulted it's important to know there are people who want to help you and you don't have to go through this alone.

You may have many different feelings, or maybe you feel numb. Everyone is different so people will react differently. Just remember that there are people here to help.

I have been sexually assaulted what do I do?

sexual assaultIf you have been raped or sexually assaulted, the first thing to do is go somewhere you feel safe, such as the home of a close friend or family member.

If you feel able to, tell someone you trust what has happened. Don't feel ashamed or to blame for what has happened to you – it is not your fault.

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

Whether or not you go to the police or tell anyone else, it's best to go to a doctor as soon as possible. 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 who have been sexually assaulted. You can see them straight after an assault, or years afterwards if it happened some time ago. Or you can go to your own doctor, or the hospital.

If the assault has just happened, it's best not to wash before going to the doctor, so you can talk about your options. Even if you're not sure about going to the police a Cambridge Clinic doctor may still be able to take samples, just in case you change your mind later.

Just like talking to your own GP, talking to a specialist doctor at the Cambridge Clinic is all confidential. It can also be very important for evidence later if you do decide later to go to the police. If you are under 16, they'll advise you to see a GP, the police, or Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children first.

You can also call the police. It's OK to contact them just to ask for advice and to find out what your options are, you do not have to make a formal complaint. The police can also help you and put you in touch with people who can help.

Supporting a friend

Sometimes people confide in their friends about being sexually assaulted, before they tell anyone else. BodySafe has info about how you can support your friend and help them be safe. Gr8Mates explains different ways that sexual assault can happen and has lots of advice about how you can support your friend.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Overseas links

On the next page: Referral and support agencies (sexual assault)

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created March 2016. Last updated May 2018.


See also:


Emotional & physical abuse

Relationships in youth and teens

Page reference: 223060

Review key: HISAY-223060