It’s common, and quite normal, to delay reporting a sexual assault. There are many reasons for doing so. You may be afraid, confused, or feeling guilty. These are all normal reactions.
It’s your choice to see a doctor, but a delayed report is better than no report at all.
A forensic examination includes collecting evidence for the police, which they can possibly use in a criminal investigation. It is usually not possible to collect forensic evidence more than seven days after the assault, but you can still report the crime to the police at any time.
Even if you don’t want to talk to the police about your options, it is still a good idea to see a doctor, even a longtime after the assault. The doctor will be able to deal with any concerns you may have about your health as a result of the assault, such as checking for any sexually transmitted infections. They will also be able to get counselling support for you and refer you to services that can help.
How can I get an appointment for an examination after a past 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)
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 services are available at an examination after a past sexual assault?
- We can examine you and document any injuries for police reporting. This is not a forensic examination as evidence will not still be present more than seven days after the sexual assault.
- We can screen and treat you for sexually transmitted infections
- We can perform a pregnancy test on you
- We can help you arrange counselling
- We can refer you to other support services (support groups, refuges, court support services and ACC)