It’s your choice, whether you see a doctor or not.
It’s normal to feel scared about seeing a doctor after you have been sexually assaulted. But it’s often a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible. They can make sure you are ok and to deal with any concerns you may have about your health.
If you’ve already reported the assault to the police, or are considering reporting it to the police, you can choose to have a forensic examination. A forensic examination is where the doctor collects evidence for the police, which they may be able to use in a criminal investigation. It’s best to collect evidence within 72 hours (three days) of the sexual assault, however, it can be done up to seven days afterwards.
How do I get an appointment for an examination after a recent sexual assault?
You can access our services in many ways:
- Ask the Police to refer you
- Ask your GP, Family Planning Clinic, or Sexual Health Clinic to refer you
- Ask the Hospital or 24 Hour Surgery to refer you
- Ask Oranga Tamariki (previously known as CYFs) to refer you
- Phone the Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury (SASSC) 24/7 support line on 03 377 5402 24
- Ask the Safe to Talk sexual harm hotline to refer you to us
- Phone us at the Cambridge Clinic on (03) 366 0067 or complete the online callback request form (Please note this service is only monitored during office hours)
The quickest way to get a medical examination after a recent sexual assault is to contact Christchurch Police urgently on 03 363 7400.
First you can talk to the police about what’s happened and about your choices. The police will then arrange an appointment at the Cambridge Clinic for you. If you want it, a police investigation may follow. But you can also decide you don’t want further police action.
Someone else can phone if you can’t. We accept phone calls from anybody. You can phone us yourself, or any person you choose can contact us.
Our service spans the Canterbury and West Coast regions. If you are outside of these regions, there are similar services operating throughout New Zealand, the SAATSLink website will help you find your nearest sexual assault medical service.
What are your choices after a recent sexual assault?
- You can choose to have a forensic examination and make a statement to the police
- If you don’t know whether you want the police involved and want to leave your options open, that’s OK. We can do a forensic examination, but instead of giving this evidence to the police we can safely store it for you until you have decided what you want to do.
- You can choose to have a medical examination only, but not involve the police.
What services are available at an examination after a recent sexual assault?
- We can perform a forensic examination (gathering evidence for the police)
- We can give you emergency contraception
- We can screen and treat you for sexually transmitted infections, and offer preventative treatment
- We can help with immediate crisis support (refuges/safe accommodation)
- We can help you arrange counselling
- We can refer you to other support services (support groups, court support services and ACC)
This video from New Zealand police outlines what happens at a medical check up after a recent sexual assault