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Firstly, we want you to know that we’ll support you whether you report the crime or not. LVWS is an independent service designed to help you cope and move forward after a crime. It is your decision whether to report a crime and we will support you whatever you decide.

If you experienced sexual violence in the past, it doesn’t matter how long ago, we will support you. It’s possible to feel the effects of sexual violence a long time after you experienced it. This can happen even if you didn’t realise the impact at the time.

If you decide to report the crime you’ve experienced to the police, we will support you every step of the way. We understand that it’s daunting and you may feel overwhelmed. Our team is specially trained to help you get through this, in your own time.

Reporting rape and sexual assault

If you were raped or sexually assaulted within the past seven days, you can be examined to help collect evidence. We know this may sound scary, but the evidence can be used to identify and prosecute the person who did this to you.

The examination will happen at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). We can help you find your nearest centre, or you can use your postcode to find a centre.

Evidence will be stronger if you avoid washing your clothes or having a shower. We do understand that may have already happened by the time you read this. Don’t let that put you off reporting the crime to the police. Some evidence will remain and can still be collected.

How we can help


It’s important that you get the right support if you’ve experienced rape or sexual assault. We can introduce you to organisations that specialise in sexual violence if you want us to.

Choosing support is your decision and we will only do what you are comfortable with. Every situation is different. We will always listen to your wishes and needs.

If your case goes to court

The criminal justice system is complex and can be overwhelming. We can help you to understand what to expect. We’ll support you throughout the whole process.

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