What should I do if I am sexually assaulted (i.e. rape or sexual penetration without consent)?
- First, get to a safe place away from the perpetrator.
- Call someone you trust to be with you. Or contact SACC and we will do our best to send a Befriender to accompany you to the police station or hospital.
- Call the police (999) or go to the police station to file a police report. You can go to any police station but the best place to go to is the Serious Sexual Crimes Branch at the Police Cantonment Complex as soon as possible. People often have mixed feelings about making a police report. Remember, it is your choice whether to make a statement to the police or not.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are badly hurt, go to Kadang Kerbau Hospital (KK), National University Hospital (NUH) or Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for treatment.
- Rape kits may be be done at the hospital to preserve evidence. You may request to have a rape kit done, or the police might ask you to take one. To do a rape kit, go to the hospitals mentioned above within 72 hours of the incident, but first go to the police station to make the report.
- To preserve DNA evidence of the perpetrator, do not bathe, wash or change your clothes, brush your teeth or comb your hair.
The earlier you report to the police, the easier it is for the police to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator.
However, it is your choice whether to report the case. When a police report is made, the police are obliged to investigate. This means that they will interview you, suspects and potential witnesses to try to get a detailed account of the incident.
To report, you should go to the nearest police station. You may request for a female police office to do the report. Also, the police should arrange for the report to be made in a private room.
If you have changed your clothes before you go to the police, put the clothes into a plastic bag and bring this to the station in order to preserve the evidence.
The police will arrange for you to receive medical assistance from one of the hospitals listed below.
- You do not have to make a formal report straight away.
- It is your choice whether to make a statement to the police.
- If the assault was recent, the police may ask you to have a forensic examination (rape kit). This is your choice.
People have mixed feelings about reporting to the police, only YOU can decide whether you want to speak to the police.
If you are badly injured, go immediately to one of the following hospitals for treatment: Kadang Kerbau Hospital (KK); National University Hospital (NUH); Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
Other hospitals are not equipped to deal with rape cases.
Even if you think that you have not been seriously injured, you should still go to one of the above hospitals. The medical examination is necessary to deal with the risks of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and pregnancy.
If you wish to preserve the forensic evidence to prosecute the perpetrator, tell the hospital that you wish to conduct a rape kit examination. This involves the medical staff taking samples of semen and hair to conduct DNA testing. Physical evidence should be collected within 72 hours of the assault. You are required to make a police report before doing the rape kit procedure.
Sexual assault is extremely traumatic. Different people will react differently but it is normal to feel fear, guilt, anger, confusion, sadness, depression and shock after the incident. You may also experience flashbacks and nightmares, a desire to withdraw from society or even to hurt yourself.
Whether the assault occurred recently or a long time ago, it is never too late to get help.
Survivors of sexual assault may be afraid to tell others because they feel ashamed or are anxious about what people will think about them.
If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to understand that it is not your fault and that you have the right and should receive help from people who will believe you and help you in your recovery.
Do not go through this alone. Contact someone you know and trust. Or contact SACC to speak to someone who will support you and arrange for counseling for you. All calls will be treated confidentially.
Healing from sexual assault will take time. We would strongly recommend that you seek professional support and counseling. A counselor can help you better deal with the emotions and reactions and regain feelings of self-control.
What after-care services are available to the victim?
- AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC), Mondays to Fridays, 10 am to midnight – 6779-0282. Email at email@example.com
- Care Corner Helpline (For Mandarin speakers) – 1800 3535 800
- Samaritans of Singapore (Suicidal tendencies) – 1800 221 4444
- ComCare Helpline (Family Service Centres) – 1800 222 0000
Casework & Counselling, Information & Referral
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