Clients will meet a SARC Support Coordinator who will talk about the options available. This may include arranging for somebody to check their immediate physical and sexual health needs.
It will be done at the client's pace, and staff will not need to know every detail about what has happened.
Staff will not insist that the client tells the police, but will want to make sure that they're safe.
Forensic medical examination
There may be the option for a forensic medical examination if the assault occurred recently, if the client consents.
The examination will collect evidence which might help with an investigation if they have made a police report, or if they might want to do so at a later date.
The collection of forensic evidence can include an intimate examination, but may also include the collection of clothing and other items. It is better to get this done as early as possible after the assault so that evidence is not lost.
The client's health and wellbeing must come first. Forensic Medical Examiners can attend off-site settings if needed, for example, hospital, nursing home, etc.
Sexual health / emergency contraception
Emergency contraception can be provided if needed, and pregnancy testing can be carried out if the client thinks they are already pregnant.
Clients might be offered post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
STI testing and wider sexual health services are not provided at the SARC, but they can be arranged with local sexual health clinics.
SARC staff will discuss options for follow-on support based on the client's needs and circumstances. This could be anything from domestic abuse services, counselling, an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, or refuge, among other options.