Rape can have devastating impact on the survivor. The survivor may experience some powerful emotions after the incidence, they may feel anger, fear, sadness and may also feel confusion about what to do. In order to get justice in a case of rape, handling of evidence is very important.
Although, it may be very difficult to calm down after the experience of a terrible violation such as rape, one thing everyone needs to know is that, not taking the right decision or step may compound the situation, including not being able to secure prosecution of conviction. Reporting the crime can help survivors to regain a sense of personal power and control. They will also be helping to prevent the criminal from doing the same thing to another person.
Below are some of the practical steps to take immediately after rape occurs in order to minimize both short and long-term health risks and strengthen the chances of bringing the perpetrator to justice.
Steps To Take Immediately After Rape Occurs
- Do not clean or disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
- Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink wash your hands or brush your teeth. You need to have a medical examination done before you can do any of these.
- Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate bag and keep it in a safe place.
- If you have access to a telephone, call a friend, a family member, or someone else you trust who can be with you and give you support. If you are not sure who to call, go ahead and call any of the numbers listed below.
- Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a description of the assailant. If you are unable to read and write, you are also encouraged to orally record the incident on your phone. Just do a voice recording of what happened- where it happened, the time, how it happened etc.
- If you are in Lagos, arrange to go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) close to you (go to the bottom of this handbill for suggestions of Centre that you can visit.)
- You will also need to report to the nearest Police Station to you to ensure that the matter is documented, investigated and the perpetrator duly arrested and prosecuted.
- Report the case as soon as possible, if possible, within 24 hours.
You can report to any case of rape to any of these organisations;