Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence

NHS | If you have ever been raped, sexually assaulted or abused, turn to us

Tackling hidden harms arising from the pandemic

Sexual assault and abuse can happen to anyone; it may be a single event or happen repeatedly. However, many people do not know where to go or who to turn to get the help and support they need. In recognition of this and as part of a cross Government commitment to tackle hidden harms arising from the pandemic, the NHS is raising awareness of Sexual Assault Referral Centre’s – or SARCs – and encouraging victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse to seek help.

SARCs provide a safe space and dedicated care, through the NHS, for people who have been raped, sexually assaulted or abused and are here for everyone, regardless of when the incident happened. These services are located across the country and available via appointment 24/7.

SARCs are commissioned by NHS England and the Police. They offer a range of services, including crisis care, medical and forensic examinations, emergency contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections. SARCs can also arrange access to an independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA), as well as referrals to mental health support and voluntary sector sexual violence support services.

Further information on SARCs is available at

YouTube | Turn to us, we are here | Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) | NHS