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Sexual assault treatment

2-minute read

Even if you are unsure whether to report the crime to the police, it is advisable to get some medical support after a rape or sexual assault. You may have injuries that need treating. It is also advisable to get advice on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

You can go to:

  • a hospital emergency department
  • your doctor
  • a sexual health clinic

All doctors and nurses will deal with your medical needs confidentially and they will not inform the police unless instructed by you to do so. However, if you think you might report the sexual assault to the police, you should tell a doctor or nurse so that they can arrange some forensic swabs for you that could be used as evidence. You can have the swabs taken and still decide not to go to the police.

Sexually transmitted infections

Even if you don't have any symptoms, it's best to be checked for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as most have few signs or symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a sexual health clinic for further testing. You may choose to have an HIV test. If you decide to have an HIV test you will be offered a pre-test discussion first to ensure you fully understand why the test is being done, the risks and benefits, and the possible outcomes of the results.

You may also need to discuss with the doctor or nurse the possibility of pregnancy. In some situations it may be advisable to take the morning after pill to reduce the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your sexual assault treatment, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Sources:

SA Health (Medical care following a sexual assault)

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: November 2019


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