If you're under 16

Immediate action required: Phone 999 or go to A&E immediately if:

  • you are bleeding heavily
  • you believe you were drugged
  • you were choked or strangled during the assault
  • you have any bruising or pain around your throat or neck
  • you lost consciousness (fainted or passed out) at any point during or after the assault
  • you have any type of head injury
  • you have any pain in your chest
  • you think you might have a broken bone
  • you have difficulty breathing

Rape and sexual assault are against the law. You should tell someone that you trust. Your safety and wellbeing are important.

If you phone the sexual assault self-referral phone service you will be listened to, and will get support and help.

The number you're phoning from will be shown to the person you speak to at the sexual assault self-referral phone service. Your number may have to be shared with other services to make sure you're safe.

If you're under 16 the person you speak to will make a decision about your immediate safety. They will then take your details and pass them to a healthcare professional - this could be a doctor or a nurse, for example.

This healthcare professional will phone you back and explain more about who else will need to be involved for your care and protection. A social worker may also have to be informed.

Confidential support

Rape Crisis Scotland

If you're 13 and over and you'd like to speak to someone anonymously and confidentially you can contact the Rape Crisis Scotland helpline.

Phone 08088 010302, from 5pm to midnight, 7 days a week. Calls are free on both landlines and mobiles.

Childline

Anyone under 16 can also contact Childline for support on 0800 1111. Calls to Childline are free, and the lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Making a report to the police

You can make a report to the police at any time. Some of the police procedures may differ due to your age for your protection. If you're under 16, you will not be able to have a forensic medical examination (FME) without the police being involved.

It may be helpful to speak to a trusted friend or family member to help support you.

Read more about how you would make a report to the police

What is rape and sexual assault?

Rape is when someone puts their penis into (penetrates) the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person without their consent.

Assault by penetration is when someone puts another part of their body – or an object – into another person’s vagina or anus without that person’s consent.

Sexual assault is when someone touches another person in a sexual way, without that person’s consent.

Sexual assault happens to people of every age, race, religion, gender identity, class, and sexuality. It can happen to people with disabilities and people without them.

No matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, or if you were drunk or under influence of drugs - sexual assault is not your fault.

What is consent?

Consent means giving permission, freely and without fear. If you said yes because you were scared, or didn't feel that you were able to say no, that isn't consent.

Even if you didn't say no, or didn't know what was happening, it doesn't mean you consented.

If you initially say yes but change your mind and say no during sexual activity, that instantly becomes non-consensual. It is assault if the person doesn't stop.

If you're thinking about sexual activity, everyone involved must give consent. It doesn't matter if you're in a relationship or have had sex before, consent is needed each and every time.

How do I know if I was raped or sexually assaulted?

Often people are unsure what has happened to them. Someone who has been raped or sexually assaulted can show no physical signs of injury, and may not remember everything right away.

There may also be instances, because of the type of assault, where you are unable to remember what happened to you.

No matter how much, if anything, you remember, you can still talk to a healthcare professional where you will be listened to and believed.

We know this can be a very difficult and confusing time and you might be unsure about what to do or who to tell. Know that you're not on your own and there are people here to support you.

Rape Crisis Scotland have created leaflets for young people who've experienced rape or sexual assault.

Last updated:
01 April 2022