Contact number: 01772 523344
The Lancashire SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination) Centre provides forensic medical examinations and advice for all genders and ages who make a complaint of rape or sexual assault. This service is offered to all individuals living in Lancashire.
- Via the Police (call 999 or contact your nearest Police Station)
- You can contact us as a self-referral
Tel: 01772 523344 (08:00-16:00)
Tel: 01772 716565, any time
- Via your GP/ local hospital
- Via any other agency
If you do not want to contact the police, you can call us on the above numbers and speak to a member of staff at any time of the day or night.
Although the service is confidential, if we believe you are in an unsafe or dangerous situation, we cannot keep this information to ourselves and may have to pass details to the Police or Social Services.
What to expect
If you wish for the police to be involved they will arrange to meet with you and accompany you to the centre for a forensic medical examination, if necessary.
Forensic Medical Examination:
The examiner must ask for your consent (agreement) before taking a history and examining you and/or taking samples, e.g. swabs, mouth samples, urine, blood. They will explain why the questions, examination or samples may be appropriate. The centres Crisis Worker will stay with you throughout your examination.
Consent is your choice. You can say yes or no. If you need more time or information, please ask.
The examiner can provide prophylactic treatment where necessary, for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Emergency Contraception.
The examiner will also offer advice and refer you to your local GUM clinic for Sexual Health Screening.
We can sign post you to local counselling services and support services.
Some rape/ sexual assault complainants feel that if they avoid talking about the assault, they will be able to forget about what happened to them.
Most people who try this approach eventually realize that they need to deal with the assault. Their unresolved feelings and fears hold them back from enjoying their lives and participating fully in relationships.
Talking about the assault can help relieve some of the control it has over you and help you begin the process of recovery. We recommend that victims seek professional counselling as soon as possible to begin the healing process.
Therapy provides a safe, private place to deal with your feelings and concerns. It also can be helpful to talk about your reactions with friends and family members who are supportive and understanding.
Sexual Violence Support have put together a support pack which you may find useful:
- Relevant Leaflets/Documents/Links
This leaflet provides written information to support the explanation given to you by the doctor or nurse who you will see prior to undergoing a forensic medical examination, (FME). This may not cover all the questions you may have, so please ask the doctor or nurse any questions you have. It is your right to do so.
- What to do if you are sexually assaulted/raped
If your health is at risk call the emergency services on 999 and if you are able, try to go to a safe place.
If your health is not at risk and you want to report the crime, notify the police immediately. Reporting the crime can help to ensure your safety and the safety of other potential victims.
Call a friend, a family member, or someone else you trust and ask her or him to stay with you.
Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate bag. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
If you contact the police, they will contact us for advice on whether an examination is necessary. The purpose of an examination is primarily to check you are ok and secondly to collect forensic samples. Even if you think that you do not have any physical injuries, you should still have a forensic medical examination and discuss with the examiner.
If you suspect that you may have been given a rape drug, inform the police/examiner and they will ask you to provide a sample of urine. Rape drugs, such as Rohypnol and GHB, are more likely to be detected in urine than in blood.
Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a description of the assailant.