SARCs have specially trained professionals who can give you medical help and advice. At a SARC centre, you can have a forensic medical examination, as well as tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and pregnancy. The SARC should not pressure you into reporting to the police and they can store the results of the forensic examination (or evidence) until you make up your mind whether to report to the police or not. 

Support provided by SARCs includes: 

  • Immediate help and support for recent victims of rape and sexual assault 
  • Forensic medical examinations carried out by experienced doctors 
  •  Anonymous reporting of sexual violence to the police, per your request
  • 24 hour support, 365 days a year

How they can help 

SARCs are the best place to go for medical attention immediately or shortly after after (up to eight days) a rape or sexual assault. They can provide medical treatment, and take forensic evidence of what happened, which can be used in evidence by the police. You will never be forced to involve the police if you don’t want to, and evidence can be stored for a later date.

SARCs can provide ongoing support, guidance and direct you towards other services.

Good to know

SARCs offer anonymous police reporting, if you would like a police report to be made while remaining anonymous.

 SARCs provide free services, many of which are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, not all SARCs offer a drop-in service, so it is always best to contact your local SARC first. 

The information you share with SARCs is confidential, which means that anything you say and any test results, will stay between you and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre. Information will only be shared with your GP (doctor) with your permission. However, if you or someone is at serious risk of harm, your information may have to be shared with people outside the centre. You will be informed if your information is being shared. 

How to access

The best way to find your nearest SARC is to call the NHS non-emergency line 111 or to search on the NHS website (click, here). 

The Survivors Trust also provide a list of local SARC details on their website.

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