Zero Tolerance

Specialist support if you’ve experienced sexual assault, violence or rape

Rape is defined as non-consensual penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth. Non-consensual means you didn't freely agree to have sexual intercourse. You won't have consented if at the time you were under the age of consent, you were subjected to violence or threats of violence, violence or threats of violence were made against someone else to force you to consent, you were asleep, unconscious, drugged or incapacitated by alcohol or your disability meant you were not able to communicate your lack of consent.

Sexual assault is when someone intentionally touches you without your consent. Both rape and sexual assault are criminal offences that can be committed by both men and women.

Immediate support

If you are at immediate risk of harm, you can call 999 for the Police or an ambulance.

You can also contact a confidential sexual assault referral centre (SARC). In London, the SARCs are called The Havens and are located across London and available 24/7. Call 020 3299 6900 and see www.thehavens.org.uk.

The Havens provide medical and emotional support services to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted in the past 12-months. Support is available to people of any gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. If you don’t want to involve the Police, you can access their support confidentially without any police involvement. If you want to involve the Police, The Havens can help you with this.

Other support

The Havens offer follow up care to help you recover both physically and emotionally. This includes counselling, tests and treatments and support is available to people of any gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Rape Crisis offers a range of specialist services across the UK including Advocacy and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors and Counselling and Therapeutic services. Most Rape Crisis services describe themselves as women only.

Survivors UK offers support to men who have been affected by rape or sexual assault as an adult or by childhood sexual abuse. It is an inclusive service and welcomes anyone who identifies as male, trans, non-binary, has identified as male in the past, or anyone who feels that they are the right fit for them. Service include counselling, group support, medical advice, legal advice, support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor. It provides face-to-face support at its office in east London, as well as online support.

London Black Women’s Project (LBWP) is a dedicated black and minority ethnic (BME) women-only organisation providing a range of support services, including counselling and legal advice, related to all types of violence against women. LBWP is based in east London. 

Victim Support offers emotional and practical support regardless of whether you have told the Police or anyone else about the assault. Victim Support’s ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advocates) are specially trained advisors and specialist caseworkers who can help you decide on what action you want to take and what help feels right for you. ISVAs often support survivors through the criminal justice system, if you choose to report the crime, and co-ordinate health and support services.

My Decision is a step-by-step guide developed by the Met Police to explain all your options, whether you choose to involve the Police or not. This includes who to contact, the type of care you can receive, how evidence is collected, how to make a report, the process of an investigation and how you can control the process.

The Samaritans provides a safe (and anonymous if you prefer) space to talk 24/7. It is not a specialist sexual violence agency, but might be helpful if you just need to talk and are not sure what you want to do next. The Samaritans is a place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way, about whatever you want to. Telephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

Tower Hamlets’ Violence Against Women and Girls provide information on their activities.

NHS Choices
The NHS Choices website offers support and medial information for those who have experienced sexual assault and rape and has lots of information about what to do next.

Galop
Galop is an LGBT+ anti-violence charity that provides confidential and independent advice and support for LGBT+ people who have experienced sexual assault, abuse or violence. They provide a safe space to talk, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. They also offer support for those affected by domestic abuse.