Rape & Sexual Assault
Street Safe online is a tool to report areas where they feel unsafe in the county.
The Street Safe tool enables anyone to anonymously flag public places and mark on a map the areas where they feel unsafe while remaining anonymous, and while anyone can use it, women and girls are particularly being encouraged to use the online platform.
Launched by the Home Office and Police Digital Service, the tool, which is being piloted across England and Wales until the end of November.
If you have been forced to have sex and did not freely consent, then it is rape. The most important thing to remember is that it is not your fault.
It doesn’t matter:
- what you were wearing
- how much you had to drink
- whether it was in your home or elsewhere
- whether you are in a relationship, married or single.
If you did not consent then the blame rests entirely with the perpetrator.
Sexual assault is a crime that can be committed by both men and women against men or women.
A crime has been committed if any of the following occurs when you don't want it to:
- Having objects or body parts (excluding the penis) inserted into your vagina or anus.
- Being touched in a sexual way that makes you feel uncomfortable or frightened.
- Being sent sexual images via email, social media or phone ('sexting').
- Being forced to watch other people have sex.
- Being forced to make or watch pornography.
If you’re the victim of rape or sexual assault, the police and other organisations are there to help.
If the offence has recently happened:
- Keep the clothes you were wearing and don’t wash them - the police may need them as evidence for the investigation.
- Try not to wash, bathe or have a shower as there may be evidence which the police can use.
The next step is to get help:
- Go to a safe place such as the home of a trusted friend or family member.
- It is your choice whether or not to report the matter to police. If you do, the sooner it is reported the more forensic evidence can be collected.
- If you report the matter to police, you will be assigned a Serious Sexual Offence Trained Officer. They are experts in this field, available 24/7 and will explain what happens next.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to report it to the police, you can report to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, The Harbour Centre. They can offer you medical support and advice.
Even if you do not wish to report the matter to police, it may still be important that you receive medical attention so please ensure you visit A & E, your GP and Sexual Health Clinic if appropriate.
The most important thing is that you do not feel you are on your own. We are here to help.
Cover your tracks
As you surf the internet your internet browser will save certain information, such as the websites you have visited and images or publications you have downloaded. If you do not want people who may have access to your computer to know which websites you have been viewing, you should use a safe computer such as a friend’s, library or work.
There are different methods to hide your tracks and delete your history for each internet browser. We have provided information about how to delete your history from some of the most popular browsers, which can be viewed here
It should be noted that if you are using someone else’s computer they may notice if you delete the computer history and cookies.
Disclaimer: If you don’t want someone to see that you’re viewing this website, you can click on the ‘escape’ button on the right, which will take you away from this page to the BBC news website.
Please be aware that the time it will take to load the BBC website will depend on your connectivity speed and device performance. It may be better to keep another document or website open in a new tab or window while browsing. If someone comes in the room and you don’t want them to see what you’re looking at, you can quickly switch views.
Help and Support
Norfolk Constabulary has specialist officers working 24/7 to deal with rape and serious sexual offences. If you need to speak to one of them, dial 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to report it to the police, you can report to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, The Harbour Centre. They can offer you medical support and collect evidence that can be used later.
The Harbour Centre - Provides a range of services for people who are victim of rape, attempted rape or assault by penetration.
Tel: 01603 276 381
Email: [email protected]
Rape Crisis - How to get help if you’ve experienced rape or any kind of sexual violence.
For general enquiries email: [email protected]
Sue Lambert Trust - This Norfolk Charity provides support for survivors of sexual abuse.
Tel: 01603 622406
Email: [email protected]
Disrespect Nobody - Home Office Advice pages for young people and healthy relationships.
Celia's case study
"You must never give up, you have nothing to lose but you have so much to gain."
Celia, rape victim
Celia (name has been changed) was raped and sexually assaulted by a person known to her for more than 15 years. Because there was no forensic evidence Celia always knew it would be very much her word against his but after years of torment she finally found the strength to speak out.
The 56-year-old was attending a support meeting for victims of sexual violence when she saw Diana Baxter, who previously managed the Harbour Centre.
As Celia was a victim of historical rape, with her agreement, a meeting was arranged with the police during which time she was given an ‘off the record’ steer as to whether she should take the matter further.
“They made me feel so at ease,” she said, “They made me feel so comfortable. The officer I spoke to said it was worth it and I said ‘go for it’. My heart was thumping and I just told the policewoman how it was and I was later video interviewed.
“I can remember saying to the officer ‘I bet you are expecting me to cry’ but I said ‘I can’t, I have cried so many times over the years I haven’t got any tears left. She said to me ‘I promise I will do my best’ and that is all I could have asked for.”
Diana, said: “I was so pleased when I took Celia’s call. I was thrilled that we were able to help her with her decision to go to court. We never underestimate how difficult it is for people to come into us.”
Despite the reassurance Celia was given by police officers she never really allowed herself to believe she would get justice for her ordeal.
Speaking of the first day she was raped, Celia said: “That was the first day of the next 15 years. He kept saying he wasn’t doing anything wrong, the more I resisted the more forceful he got.
“It got to once a week, then twice a week, then three times a week. I was never safe. He would stalk me around the streets, I would come out of a shop and he would be standing there. He was always there. I was scared to go out and I was scared to stay in. I didn’t think he would ever stop.
“I needed to speak out because I wanted to protect other females. He had to be stopped, he’s dangerous. I also did it for me.”
The offender appeared in court in April this year (2012) and was sentenced to six years in prison – after having previously pleaded guilty.
“The police officer called me at home and told me he had pleaded guilty,” she added.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was jumping up and down the room, I thought ‘I’ve got you’ and I burst into tears. I didn’t even think it would get to court. All of his life he has been able to turn things around to make other people feel the guilty one. I thought he would talk his way out of it because they didn’t have a lot of evidence.
“I went to the sentencing and I was shaking but afterwards I was high as a kite and I stayed that way for about two weeks, but then I was back down on the ground, it was as if I had been hit by a truck. I have lost all my confidence. I used to walk down the road with my head held high but most of the time it is now down, but the support I have been given has been amazing. I have never felt alone.”
And Celia’s message to other victims…
“You must never give up, you have nothing to lose but you have so much to gain. Even if there is no forensic proof – there is still a chance. Just ring the Harbour Centre and go and speak to someone there. They are caring and compassionate people and they will listen.”
If you are a victim of rape and sexual assault, help is available from our specialist trained police officers to the Harbour Centre - a dedicated Sexual Assault Referral Centre.
Drug Rape and Sexual Assaults
‘Drug rape’ is a label given to acts of rape and sexual assaults where the victim has been affected by drugs, usually slipped into alcoholic drinks.
While the drug Rohypnol is often the most well-known, drug-assisted rape can include the use of alcohol, prescription medication and other street drugs, used to stop a victim from being able to defend or protect themselves.
Reports of drug-assisted rape in Norfolk are few but all reports are investigated sympathetically and confidentially.
What are the effects?
- Effects vary from person to person depending on a number of different factors, including which drug was used.
- Drugs may cause someone to become physically incapable, experience memory loss or stimulate sexual response.
- Some people may have suffered physical injury or find themselves in a strange place or situation but are unaware of how it happened.
- Even if the victim previously agreed to take the drug, if they aren’t able to consent to sexual activity this is still rape or sexual assault.