Sexual assault is any sexual act that a person did not consent to, or is forced into against their will. It is a form of sexual violence and includes rape (an assault involving penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with a penis), or other sexual offences, such as groping, forced kissing or child sexual abuse.
Oakwood Place offers free support and practical help to anyone in Essex who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. Even if you’re not sure what support you need, you can contact them and they will either offer you an appointment or point you in the right direction of the appropriate service.
SOSRC, part of the Essex Rape Crisis Partnership, provides free, confidential specialist support for anyone who has been raped or experienced any other form of sexual violence at any time in their lives. Whether it happened recently or in the past, or even if you’re not sure what happened, you can find help to think through your options and next steps.
You can report the assault to police by calling 999 or 101. A specially trained officer will speak to you about what has happened and will arrange for an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) to support and guide you through the prosecution process. Sexual assault is traumatic and it can sometimes take a while until you feel able to talk about it. Even if the assault happened a long time ago, you can still report it.
You can also access counselling, support and guidance from:
If someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, it can be a very distressing and confusing time for you both. You can help to support the person who has been assaulted by:
Try not to feel upset if they don’t want to talk to you about what has happened - sexual violence can be very difficult to discuss, even with someone you trust.
It is important to support them to take whatever action they want to take, which might be nothing, in their own time as they feel able to do so and not to rush them into getting help.