Rape or Sexual Assault
What is rape?
Rape is when someone forces another person to have sex when they do not want to. Often the attacker uses violence and threats.
What is sexual assault?
This is any kind of sexual contact or behaviour that is unwanted such as touching.
Rape and sexual assault are crimes.
Who are the victims?
Most victims are women but there are cases when men are the victims.
Rape can happen between people of the same gender.
The victims can be adults or young people.
If the victim is under 18 years, it is often regarded as child abuse and may be seen as a safeguarding children concern. If you are a young victim or know a child or young person being sexually abused, contact Children's Social Care, Assessment and Family Support Unit, 56 Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7JX
0161 342 4150 office hours or 0161 342 2222 out of hours
Also contact the Police.
For more information, check the Tameside Safeguarding Children Board website.
If the victim is an adult who has a disability, is very old or has an illness – it could be their vulnerability has been taken advantage of. In this case, it may be seen as a safeguarding adults concern. If this is happening to you or someone you know, contact the safeguarding adults team.
Again, consider contacting the Police.
Who are the perpetrators?
Often they are people known to the victims
- members of the family, partners, boy friends, girl friends, close friends, people known socially, work mates.
Rape within marriage is still against the law.
Sexual violence is often an aspect of domestic abuse.
It could be someone the victim has only just met or never met before.
Drugs and date rape
Drugs can be added to food or drink without the victim knowing – this is called spiking. The aim is to cause memory loss so the victim cannot recall what happened – making it easier to get away with raping someone. If someone has had a few drinks, it’s easier to spike a drink.
The Roofie Foundation is the only organisation in the country that specialises in helping victims of drug-assisted rape and sexual assault. They operate a 24 hour helpline and provide safety tips about how to keep safe.
What to do if you have been raped or sexually assaulted
You should report it to the Police as soon as possible.
Ring 0161 872 5050
It’s not very nice, but if it’s still soon after the attack, resist the urge to have a shower and wash the clothes you were wearing. It’s all evidence.
You can ask to speak to a Police Officer who is the same sex as you - if that makes you feel more comfortable. There are specialist police officers who are experienced in dealing with these cases who will listen carefully to what you have to say and treat you sensitively. They will appreciate how you are feeling.
In Tameside, we arrange for people to attend St. Mary’s hospital in Manchester where there is a specialist health centre for helping victims of rape and sexual assault. They can also gather any evidence that can help the Police with an investigation. You will have to be examined but the doctors will talk through what will happen and put you at your ease. St Mary’s can organise counselling for you and talk through any decisions you have to make.
The police may want to talk to you again as they investigate the crime. They will keep you updated with any developments in the investigation and let you know if you need to go to court. If you do go to court, you will get support.
If you do not want to report it to the Police, still seek medical help from A&E, your GP or a sexual health clinic. It’s bad enough to be raped, but you may also have contracted a disease or risk pregnancy. You may have other injuries that need treatment.
Tameside and Glossop Centre for Sexual Health
This is a free confidential service based at Ashton Primary Care Centre (APCC), Ashton, where you can go for testing, treatments and advice on Sexual Transmitted Infections.
For appointments please ring: 0161 342 7101
Sexual Health Drop-In Opening Times
Tel: 0161 342 7100
Ashton Primary Care Centre
193 Old St, Ashton-Under-Lyne
Young People's Sexual Health (SAFE) Clinics
If you are under 25 you can attend a SAFE clinic for free and confidential advice and support. You can also get pregnancy tests, condoms. Chlamydia screening and advice on contraception.
No appointments needed just drop in.
Text SAFE to 07766 363390 for clinic locations and opening times on that day
Being a victim of rape or sexual assault can leave you frightened, confused, depressed. You may even feel stupid for letting it happen or think it’s your fault – which isn’t true but your emotions will be mixed up. You may think you are the only person who has gone through this. It makes sense to get help from the experts.
Whether or not you have reported the crime, there are organisations that can help you recover.
Manchester Rape Crisis Centre - www.manchesterrapecrisis.co.uk
Lesbian and Gay Foundation Manchester - www.lgf.org.uk
If you are experiencing sexual violence in an abusive relationship you can ring the free confidential local domestic violence helpline on
0800 328 0967.
If you are experiencing sexual assault as part of an abusive Lesbian or Gay relationship, Broken Rainbow can offer support.