What to do if Someone forces you to
- Run away as fast as you can. Try
to get help or scream loudly. Shout
“Fire!” – this gets people’s
- If you do not know the man, take
a good look at him and what he is
wearing. This will help you identify
- Say you have to go to the toilet
and run away.
- Say “No!” strongly many times.
Say “Stop it, this is rape!”.
- If he has no weapon, you can try
to punch him, poke him in the eye,
kick or hit him.
- Some women have been able to
make the rapist wear a condom. A
condom can protect you against
pregnancy and sexually transmitted
diseases like Aids.
- Don’t blame yourself later if
you did not fight back. It is normal
to freeze when you are scared.
Sometimes it may be safer not to
- Don’t make him angry if he has a
weapon. Try to tell him why he must
not rape you.
What to do if you have been raped?
- Speak to someone you trust
Rape can make you feel very hurt. Try
not to be alone. Talk to someone at a
women’s organisation. You can also call
the toll free Helpline at 0800 150 150.
- Keep your clothes and try not
If you bath, you wash away the
evidence of rape. Put your clothes is a
paper bag. Do not use a plastic bag. The
police can use the clothes as evidence.
- Get to a doctor, a hospital
or a clinic urgently
A state doctor will do the medical
examination, usually at a hospital. You
can get a private doctor to do the
examination, but they are often not
trained in collecting forensic evidence
and may not have the time to go to
court. You should bring the clothes you
were wearing at the time of the rape so
that they can also be examined for
The health worker can give you
medicine to prevent a pregnancy or STD.
The doctor’s notes could be used as
evidence in court. There are also
medicines that can protect you in case
the rapist has HIV/Aids. They must be
taken very soon after rape. Talk to the
health worker about these medicines.
- Write down everything you
remember about the rape
This will help you if you decide to
report it to the police. Ask someone to
help you if you can’t write.
- Decide if you want to report
the rape at the police station
It is best to report rape as soon as
you can. It helps to have the report if
you decide to lay a charge against the
rapist. If you lay a charge, the police
must investigate. A doctor must examine
you and fill in a J-88 form. You will
need this form as evidence in court.
- Tell the police what happened
You can report rape by going to the
closest police station. You can also
report rape by telephoning the closest
police station. If you report by phone,
the police will send a police van to
fetch you. However, because the police
van may not be available immediately,
you may have to wait a long time to be
fetched. If you are badly hurt, you
should call an ambulance directly or the
emergency number instead (0800 150 150).
Usually, you are supposed to report
rape at the police station closest to
where the rape happened (which might be
far away from where you live). However,
if you have gone to another police
station, the police are not allowed to
send you away. They must do the first
steps of the investigation, including
opening a case docket and the medical
examination, and give the case to the
correct police station afterwards.
Take someone you trust with you. At
the police station, you can ask to speak
to a woman police official. However, a
woman may not always be available. You
do not have to give all the details of
what happened in the charge office when
reporting the rape. After you have said
that you want to report a rape, you
should be taken to a private space such
as an office, or to the trauma room,
which is a more comfortable room that
often also has trained volunteers to
help you. Most police stations have
trauma rooms that are supposed to be
open all the time, even on weekends and
The police officer will write down
your story. It is called a statement.
Don’t sign the statement until you agree
with everything that is written down.
You need only give a brief statement
of what happened and have the rape
recorded in the occurrence book (a book
in which all crimes are recorded) at the
police station, before being taken to
have a medical examination. You should
try to give a detailed description of
the rapist and where you last saw him
immediately so that the police can try
to arrest him as soon as possible.
You only need to give a detailed
statement of what happened during the
rape after the medical examination,
usually a day or so later, when you have
had some time. The detailed statement
will be given to a detective
(investigating officer) who will be the
only police person to know about the
details of the case.
When you give your statement, you
should give as much detail as possible
about what happened, especially on
whether the rapist threatened you and
whether he was violent. Make sure the
police know if you think he knows where
you live and if you are afraid he might
intimidate you. This is important
information that will help the court
decide whether he should be granted bail
or not, once he is arrested.
If the police arrest a suspect, they
may need to hold an identity parade
where you will have to point out the
rapist if he is one of the people in the
identity parade. If the police station
has a two-way mirror, then this will be
used for the identity parade. You do not
need to touch the suspect and you should
refuse to do so if anyone asks you to.
Keep your case number and the name of
the police officer. Phone or visit the
police station often to find our what is
being done about your case.
- If you lay a charge, your
case may go to court
Unfortunately, it may take a very
long time for your case to go to court
for trial, and if the police cannot find
enough evidence, the prosecutor may
decide not to prosecute. If you have any
complaints about how the police have
dealt with your case, you should lodge a
complaint. You can get help from any of
the organisations that help survivors of
sexual violence with preparing for the
trial and with any other problems you
may be experiencing.
On the day of trial, try to arrange
with the prosecutor beforehand that you
will arrive early and have a separate
place to sit while waiting for the trial
to start, as it is common for the rapist
and his supporters to make comments
about you within earshot and try to
intimidate you in other ways. Some
courts have separate witness waiting
rooms that you can use instead of
waiting in the corridor with the rapist
and his supporters. If the court does
not have a witness waiting room, ask the
prosecutor to make another office
available for you.
You will have to tell the court about
everything that happened. The doctor who
examined you after the rape will have to
give evidence. The rapist’s lawyer may
ask you hurtful questions. This can be
If the rapist is granted bail, the
police must inform you, including the
conditions of his bail. One of the
conditions of bail is always that he
will not be allowed to talk to you or
threaten you in any way. If he does talk
to you or if he breaks any of the other
conditions, you must contact the
detective dealing with your case
immediately and make a statement about
8. Remember your rights
You have the right to see a police
woman officer. You have the right to
tell the story in a private room. You
have the right to be treated with
What to do if someone you care about
has been raped?
Let her tell the story. She may do
this many times. Tell her you believe
her and that she is not to blame. Stay
with her, she must not be alone at this
time. Be patient and understanding. Help
her to take action, but don’t make
decisions for her. Accept any decision
she makes, even if you disagree with it.
Go with her to the police, hospital or a
women’s organisation. Talk to people at
a women’s organisation. They will help
to help her.
Forced sex is rape even if the man is
the woman’s husband or boyfriend. It is
rape even if the man has had sex with
the woman before. It is rape even if he
has taken her out and spent money on
Forced sex is rape even if the woman
has flirted with the man. Flirting does
not mean she agrees to sex. It is rape
even if she says no but the man thinks
she means yes. It is rape even if she
dresses in short skirts or looks sexy.
Rape is painful, violent and it
hurts. Many women feel guilty and blame
themselves. Society makes them feel this
Survivors of rape can be frightened for
a long time afterwards. They can become
depressed and lose confidence. They
often feel dirty and ashamed. They may
find it hard to trust men or to be alone
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