Rape & Sexual Assault

Rape is the penetration by a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person where there is no consent or where the victim does not have the capacity or ability to freely consent.

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual touching. Both men and women can commit this offence. It can also be committed against either a man or a woman.

Sexual harassment is unwanted persistent verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

 

It is important to remember that being pressurised or forced to have sex or take part in sexual activity, when you don't want to, is a crime.

Pressurising someone to have sex or take part in sexual activity against their will is never acceptable for any reason. Being in a relationship with someone does not make it OK for your partner to force you to do something you don’t want to do

Consent is key – without it, any sexual act becomes a criminal offence. If someone is incapable of consenting (for example if they are too drunk or asleep), it is still sexual violence.

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A person consents if he or she agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Consent is key – without it, any sexual act becomes a criminal offence. If someone is incapable of consenting (for example if they are too drunk or asleep), it is still sexual violence.

Sex with someone who doesn’t want to is rape. It does not make a difference whether the people know each other or not, or what relationship they have. Rape and sexual assault do not have to involve physical force – threatening violence, or having sex with someone who is incapable of consenting (for example because they’re drunk or asleep) is rape.

 

You should never have to do something sexual that you don’t feel comfortable with, even if many of your friends are comfortable with similar situations or if you’ve done it before.

Also, remember that being in a relationship with someone does not make it ok for them to force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Visit www.safedate.org.uk for information about consent and sexting.

Visit www.childline.org.uk for further support and information. 

www.disrespectnobody.co.uk provides information on sexting, relationship abuse, consent, rape and porn. 

Dorset Rape Crisis

If you have been the victim of a sexual attack or if you know of a family member or friend who has been, you can obtain advice by contacting the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre helpline on 01202 308855 or visit www.dorsetrapecrisis.org 

The Shores (Dorset SARC)

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, The Shores, which is the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Dorset, is here to support you. They help you deal with and recover from the emotional and physical effects of the assault and can support you to report the incident to the police - but only if this is what you wish to do.

Visit www.the-shores.org.uk for more information and advice. 

Survivors UK

Survivors UK specifically help men who have been sexually abused or raped. Visit their website: www.survivorsuk.org

For more support and information for men affected by sexual assault and rape follow this link. 

Dorset Police

You can also contact the police on 101 and ask to be put in contact with a specially trained police officer. Always dial 999 in an emergency. 

Dorset Police always respect the wishes of the victim and a specially trained officer will talk to you in confidence and explain fully all the options open to you and will be guided by your wishes.

We understand that you may not want to speak to the police about your experience in the first instance. You can still get help and support even if you don't report what has happened to the police.

The Shores (Dorset SARC)

The Shores, which is the Dorset SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre), can offer free and confidential help, support, examination and counselling.

The Shores have independent sexual violence advisors (ISVAs).  They help you deal with and recover from the emotional and physical effects of the assault and can support you to report the incident to the police - but only if this is what you wish to do.

Visit www.the-shores.org.uk for more information and advice.

Dorset Rape Crisis

If you have been the victim of a sexual attack or if you know of a family member or friend who has been, you can obtain advice by contacting the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre helpline on 01202 308855 or visit www.dorsetrapecrisis.org 

Dorset Police

If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault, and you want to report directly to the police please call 101 and ask to be put in contact with a specially trained police officer. Always dial 999 in an emergency. 

Dorset Police takes all reports of rape and sexual assault seriously, no matter when they happened or who you are. Rape or sexual assault that has happened a long time ago will also be investigated.

Dorset Police has specially-trained officers who can help and advise you. They are dedicated to investigating these sorts of offences, will talk to you in confidence, will explain the options open to you and will be guided by your wishes.

Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Click here for details of what happens if you report sexual abuse and what support you are entitled to if you have experienced sexual abuse.

Dorset Police take any report of a sexual crime seriously from any person, from any background.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted you can report it to the police on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

If you don’t want to speak to the police, please go to the Shores where you can self-refer and get all the help you need. They can help you decide about reporting to the police and can also gather the medical evidence that might be required if you change your mind later.

 

Agencies and other support:

  • The Shores – Dorset’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
  • Sex Workers Risk Assessment Conference (SWRAC)
    • Joanna Cain: 07785 682 885, 01202 458 058
  • Dorset Working Women’s Project (DWWP)
    • Pauline: 01202 646912, 07973 235438

Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking

There is a risk of harm to, and exploitation of, people involved in prostitution. There is also an increasing focus on human trafficking as individuals are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced into prostitution.

Click here for more information and advice around human trafficking.

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