If you would like to access medical support, services are available to help provide compassionate support to any person who has experienced this distressing event, either recently or in the past, and to provide any investigations or medical treatment necessary.
Where to get medical support
You can access medical support (including for injuries or infections) from:
- your GP
- local hospital
- the Chalmers Centre, NHS Lothian Sexual Health Clinic, 2a Chalmers Street EH3 9ES. Telephone 0131 536 1071 to make an appointment
- in an emergency, you should contact 999, NHS 24 by calling 111 or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency department
NHS Lothian Sexual Health Clinic offer a free, friendly confidential Sexual Assault Clinic/service every Wednesday afternoon. The clinic is staffed by a dedicated nurse and Doctor who will deal with your needs in a sensitive and supportive manner.
Collecting evidence in cases of sexual assault NHS Lothian Sexual assault Response Coordination Service (SARCS)
The NHS Scotland sexual assault self-referral phone service (SARCS) can help to arrange care for you in the days following a rape or sexual assault. Details of the service are available here:
https://www.nhsinform.scot/sarcs or Tel Helpline on 0800 148 8888
If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, you can report it to the police at any time- by phoning 999 in an emergency or 101 for non-emergencies.
If the assault took place within the last 7 days and you are either unsure now or don’t wish to tell the police, you can self-refer to a SARCS and the staff will look after your immediate health & wellbeing needs. It may be appropriate for you to have a forensic medical examination. The SARCS can collect certain forensic evidence and keep it for 26 months- in case you want to tell the police at a later date. This self-referral service is for anyone aged 16 or over.
You can also contact Chalmers Centre directly on 0131 536 1070 for advice, emergency contraception, HIV post-exposure prophylaxis & STI testing.
University or external support channels can explain this to you in more detail.
Things to remember
- It is your choice- you will not be rushed into making any decisions and are encouraged to ask questions. You can ask to bring someone with you, such as a trusted friend or relative
- You are in control- you can ask the healthcare professional providing the care to pause or stop at any time
- You should try to seek help as soon as possible after the assault- a forensic examination is normally only carried out within 7 days of the assault taking place- but you can seek medical advice & support at any stage in the future
- You’re not alone- if you have experienced any form of sexual assault, SARCS & other services are here for you