What should I do?
If you are raped, here are some actions you can take:
- Do not wash yourself or change your clothes, even if you really want to. It will destroy important evidence of the rape, such as semen, blood, saliva, hairs, and fibers.
- Find a friend. It can be very difficult for a rape victim to make a report on rape given the trauma of the incident. Ask a friend or family member to go with you to the hospital and/or police station for support, or contact a women’s NGO or counselling service.
- Go for a medical examination at the Accident & Emergency Department of a government hospital immediately. Doctors will examine you in a private room to gather evidence of the rape. You will first be provided with forms requesting your approval for the medical examination, and that the information be used for police investigation. The doctor may examine your genital areas and your clothes. While you may feel uncomfortable, it is very important to gather evidence right away.
- Make a police report as soon as possible. The hospital staff will notify the police. You may make a police report at the hospital. You could also choose to go to the police station first, whereby a policewoman should accompany you to the hospital after your report is lodged. You can still make a police report later, but after 72 hours, a rape is considered a ‘cold case’ i.e., the evidence may no longer be there.
- Talk to someone. Talking to someone you trust or contacting a women’s NGO or a counselling service is important, even if you decide not to go to the police. Talking can help you deal with feelings of fear, anxiety and worthlessness that victims of sexual assault often experience. WCC services are free and strictly confidential.
Remember that rape is not your fault! The only person to blame for a rape is the rapist. By reporting the rape, you may be able to stop the rapist from hurting other women.