If you have been raped and you are undecided about legal action, it is better if you can preserve evidence:
- resist the urge to shower, bath or douche;
- try not to disturb the scene of the crime;
- keep the clothes on that you were wearing during the assault;
- not clean your teeth, drink or eat if there was oral penetration;
- bring a change of clothes with you to meet the counsellor/advocate, if you would prefer to wear your own clothes, as your clothes may be kept for evidence. A Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) will be able to provide you with a change of clothes if you would prefer that.
In the State of Victoria, you can contact the Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) on 1800 806 292 or the Victorian Police on 000, both of which are 24 hour services. In the rest of Australia phone 1800 RESPECT.
If you contact SACL you will be able to speak to a counsellor/advocate on the telephone about how you are feeling. You will be able to receive information in relation to medical and legal services and to discuss what you might like to do next. The counsellor/advocate will be able to arrange for you to meet another counsellor/advocate face-to-face from the nearest Centre Against Sexual Assault.
The meeting will take place in a safe environment. The following will be available to you:
- emotional crisis support;
- information about medical and legal rights;
- appointments for future counseling;
- Police members from the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team if you wish to have them contacted;
- a medical examination, either forensic or hospital based, if you wish;
- a support person such as a friend, relative or counsellor/advocate.