Help and support


A ‘SARC’ or sexual assault referral centre is a safe, one stop place for victims of rape or serious sexual assault. There are SARCs in many areas across the UK (click here for a list of SARCs) and they provide 24 hour access for victims. At a SARC you can have a forensic medical examination (a top to toe examination that will look for any injuries and take samples that may be used in a criminal investigation if you choose to take that route). Some SARCs also give out PEPS (medication that may prevent HIV or AIDS if taken within 72 hours of an assault) and other prophylactic drugs (preventative drugs) to prevent other sexually transmitted infections. Some offer counselling or may refer you to other specialist services. There are two routes into the SARC wether via the police (when you formally report) or via the self-referral route when you do not want police involvement. SARCs will see you whatever choices you decide on and whether or not you report to the police does not affect the access to care and treatment that you will receive.