- Try to be somewhere that feels safe.
- Keep warm and drink plenty of fluids.
- If possible, see if a friend or someone you trust can be with you.
- If you want to report the assault, contact the police so they can arrange a forensic examination as soon as possible. They will want to get as much evidence as possible. So, don’t wash, eat or drink.
- If you think you would like to report the incident to the police, you can contact the police directly or phone the JAAR Helpline.
- Have any injuries treated by your doctor or at a hospital.
- If you change your clothes, put them in a bag to give to the police.
- Tell the police if you think you may have been drugged or your drink ‘spiked’. They will arrange for blood and urine tests.
- You might not feel like reporting now, but you might in time. So keep the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault, don’t wash them and put them in a plastic bag.
- If you wash yourself, use safe products, not household cleaning products as they can be harmful.
- If there is a possibility of pregnancy you may want to take the morning after pill (up to 72 hours after) or have a coil fitted (up to 5 days after). You can buy emergency contraception at a pharmacy.
- Or you can go to your Family Planning Clinic, genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic or GP.
- If you are worried about sexually transmitted infections, you can have fully confidential advice and treatment from your nearest GUM clinic. You do not need a letter from your doctor. You don’t have to give the clinic your real name.
Rape is forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.This happens in many different situations. Here are definitions of the different types of rape.
This is where the crime is committed in a relationship. They could be a family member, a partner or an ex-partner.
This is where the victim and offender are known to each other, they may be a friend or an acquaintance. It is possible that they are known to each other in a non-intimate capacity, through things like dating or meeting that night in a bar or club.
This is where the attacker is unknown to the victim. These incidents are less common in Jersey.
Drug/Alcohol assisted rape
This is where alcohol or drugs are intentionally given to a victim for the purpose of committing rape or alternatively where they have consumed a sufficient quantity where their ability to consent is impaired.
If you are thinking of reporting an incident of this nature to Police please keep in mind that drugs only stay in the system for between six and 16 hours, so for officers to take this kind of evidence it needs to be done as soon as possible.
Consent is basically agreeing to do something – in this case having sex with another person. Quite simply, if you do not give your consent, it is rape.
The official police guidance defines consent as the person “agreeing by choice and having the freedom and capacity to make that choice”.
So if you make the decision based on fear, fraud or because of drug or alcohol intake, it is not true consent and will amount to rape.
Many people associate rape with a stranger attack in a dark alley. This is not the case. In Jersey 90% of sexual assaults happen when the victim and attacker are known to each other.
But no matter what the situation or relationship, sex without consent is rape.
Sexual assault and rape are amongst the most devastating of human experiences. The terror, helplessness, humiliation and pain involved result in severe distress which can have an impact on every aspect of the victim’s life. The effects will vary from person to person because everyone reacts differently to trauma and crisis, and sometimes a person will not react in the way they themselves might have expected. However, certain common patterns emerge.
- Common Immediate effects –These may persist for several days or weeks:
- Shock and withdrawal: the victim may be unable to speak about the experience. S/he may appear ‘frozen’.
- Panic and confusion: the victim may be very distraught and may be very frightened and show signs of extreme fear.
- A tendency to dwell on the details of the assault.
- Recurrent and intrusive flashbacks of the assault, where for the individual it feels like a reliving of parts of the experience, with all of the feelings and reactions that were there at the time.
- Sleeplessness and nightmares.
- Hypervigilance: a person may be on the alert all the time and may be easily startled.
- Calm and rational: some people respond to severe trauma by retreating from the feelings and becoming very reasoned and logical.
- Denial: the person may minimise what has occurred and try to deal with it by behaving as nothing has happened.
- Obsessive washing: the victim may feel dirty and tainted and wash over and over again.
- Physical trauma: injuries such as bruising, cuts or soreness around the genital or anal area may have been inflicted. If the victim was beaten or physically assaulted, there may be other injuries. However, the absence of physical trauma is not an indication that a person has not been raped.
- Common Long term effects
- Recurrent and intrusive recollections of the assault.
- Self-blame and guilt: the person may agonise over what it was s/he did which provoked the attack, regardless of the fact that it was not his or her fault.
- Fear: the person may feel unsafe, even in familiar places with people s/he knows.
- Deep emotional pain: the person may experience strong feelings of anger, sadness etc.
- Dramatic mood swings, particularly following exposure to events or places similar to the setting of the assault.
- Difficulty in trusting, even those whom s/he knows and cares for, and difficulty in trusting and feeling safe in the company of the opposite sex.
- Sexual difficulties: recollections of the assault may impinge on the person’s sexual relationship with his or her partner.
- Impaired concentration and memory.
- Difficulty in coping with normal routines.
- Development of addictions (drink, drugs, food).
- Common Immediate effects –These may persist for several days or weeks:
No matter how great the victims difficulty in coping with the assault, it does not mean that s/he has developed serious or permanent psychiatric or emotional problems. The victim of sexual violence can recover and reclaim his or her life.
When someone has been raped or sexually abused they can experience nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive memories and high levels of fear and distress. Counselling helps people become aware that these feelings are a normal reaction to the abnormal events they have experienced.
All of us, both men and women, experience difficulties in our lives. Some experiences are too hard to deal with on your own. Maybe you can’t talk to family or friends, or there is a limit to the help they can give.
Our counsellors are trained to provide the confidential support necessary to help you heal from the hurt of rape and sexual abuse.
Counselling helps by providing a person the time and space, not always available in other parts of their lives, to explore their feelings in relation to their trauma. It is an enormous relief for someone to be able to talk, perhaps for the first time, about what happened and how it has affected their life. It is helpful over time, and without pressure or expectation to be able to open up to and express painful memories and feelings that may have been bottled up for a long time.
The length of time counselling takes varies from person to person. Everyone is an individual and each person’s experience is unique, so the duration of their counseling cannot be predicted. It can vary from a few weeks up to a few months or longer. Most people feel some benefit even after a few sessions.
It is always the choice of the individual whether or not they wish to continue with the counselling process. There will always be time to discuss this with their counselor.