Rape and Sexual Assault

Rape or sexual assault is a serious crime.

Sometimes people are afraid to speak to us for a wide range of reasons. However, no matter who you are, how long ago the assault happened or what took place, our prime concern is to give you the support you need. We'll listen, understand and guide you through the investigation process at a pace you're comfortable with, whilst respecting your wishes.

When you feel ready to report 

If you feel unable to report it to us straight away, tell someone you trust. You can speak to your GP or if you are at college or university, welfare staff and the Student Union will be able to offer help and advice.

If you'd like to make a report to us, you can do so by: 

  • Reporting online
  • Calling 101
  • In an emergency, where life is at risk or a crime is ongoing, dial 999

If you don't want to report to us:

If you have been a victim of crime, whether recently or in the past, Lancashire Victim Services are there to help. They provide emotional support, information and practical help, regardless of whether you have reported the crime to the police. All their services are free and confidential, call 0300 323 0085.

You can also self-refer to the SAFE Centre, a specialist unit at Preston Royal Hospital. They offer counselling, support and help with forensic examinations. They can be contacted on 01772 523 344.

Support and help during your journey

We take investigations into rape and sexual assault very seriously. We have specially trained officers who will explain the process all the way through and help you to make a statement about what has happened. There will also be people there who can help you with any medical concerns you might have.

If you have been a victim of crime, whether recently or in the past, Lancashire Victim Services are there to help. They provide emotional support, information and practical help, regardless of whether you have reported the crime to the police. All their services are free and confidential, call 0300 323 0085. You can also self-refer to the SAFE Centre, a specialist unit at Preston Royal Hospital. They offer counselling, support and help with forensic examinations. They can be contacted on 01772 523 344.

Rape and sexual assault: The facts 

  • Rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another's vagina, anus or mouth with a penis without the other person's consent
  • Sex without consent is rape
  • The overall definition of a sexual or indecent assault is an act of physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. It can involve forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts
  • Consent separates sex, or a gesture of affection, from sexual assault 

What is consent?

Consent is both people agreeing to what's happening by choice and having the freedom and ability to make that choice. This short film, Tea and Consent, outlines what consent means:

Myths and facts about rape and sexual assault

Myth: Most rapes are committed by stranger

Fact: Most rapes are carried out by somebody you know and trust

Myth: Rape happens because of the way the victim is dressed

Fact: Rape has nothing to do with what the victim wears. Nobody has the right to have sex with someone without their consent

Myth: People who are drunk are partly to blame for being raped

Fact: The only person to blame is the rapist. Being drunk doesn't give anyone the right to hurt you

Myth: Rape doesn't happen to men

Fact: This is not true - men can also be raped. Rape is sex without consent regardless of whether you are male or female

Myth: If your boyfriend forces you to have sex, it is not real rape

Fact: If you have been forced to have sex by anyone, it is rape

Myth: When it comes to sex, some people say ‘no’; but they really mean ‘yes’

Fact: No means no but sometimes people may be too frightened to say anything. This doesn't mean they are consenting to sex


Rate this page