What happens next
You don’t have to be referred from or speak to the police to see us.
We are contactable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year on 0300 123 6616.
It is important to remind yourself that you are not to blame. Nothing that you have done can make a person rape or sexually assault you. You are not responsible for someone else’s actions. There is no right or wrong way to respond in situations of sexual attack. Common feelings after rape or sexual assault include self-blame, guilt, fear, anxiety, shame and anger. These are natural emotional responses and usually reduce gradually over time.
When your safety has been violated, it is important that you begin to feel safe again and able to make your own decisions. We aim to give you the information you need to take control and make the best choices for you. It is your right to take the process at Treetops at your own pace, stopping at any time you feel you need to. If at any time you don’t understand what is happening please ask and a member of the team will be happy to explain more thoroughly what is happening.
When you arrive
When you arrive at Treetops SARC you will be met by one of our specially trained Crisis Workers. They will take you into a private lounge so that you can speak to them about what has happened and discuss options available to you. We understand that you have been through a major trauma and realise how hard it can be to speak about. If you decide to have a forensic medical examination then the Crisis Worker will stay with you throughout the process.
Whatever you decide, we will always put your needs first and help facilitate the choices you make about your care.
Who will I meet?
All of the team at Treetops are supportive, respectful and non-judgemental. We will help you recover, both physically and emotionally from what has happened to you. We focus on the needs of you, the individual.
Everyone you will meet at Treetops has had specialist training. This means you will get the best care for your needs.
The crisis worker will explain and support your choices and guide you through what happens at the Treetops SARC. They will stay with you the whole time. They will talk with you about your choices and any care you need. They stay with you while you have a forensic medical examination, if you decide to have one. They also help to arrange any follow-up care you need. If you would like to be supported by a male Crisis Worker, please let us know.
Sexual Offences Examiners
Forensic Medical Examinations are carried out by one of our specially trained Sexual Offences Examiners (SOEs). All our SOEs at Treetops are women. When a child under the age of 18 has been assaulted, a specialist children’s doctor (paediatrician) may also be involved in the examination at Treetops, helping provide medical care and after care. We usually have female paediatricians attending Treetops SARC.
Young Persons Independent Violence Adviser (YPISVA)
The Young Person’s ISVA can offer emotional and practical support to young people attending the Treetops SARC. The provide advocacy, assistance with health appointments and can attend meetings with clients after the initial visit to the SARC. They are also your able to support young people in their contact with the Police and help them through the court process if the case has gone to court.
How we work with the Police
You can attend Treetops SARC and access our services whether or not you decide to report the assault to the Police. We will respect your wishes and always put your needs first. If you wish to make a report to the police then a Crisis Worker can help to facilitate this. A Specially Trained Officer (STO) will talk to you and make sure you understand what is going on at each stage. A STO is a plain-clothes police officer who has specialist training in the investigation of rape and serious sexual offences. They will be assigned to your case with the responsibility of investigating and securing all the evidence. Your dedicated STO will be a single point of contact throughout your case. The STO will support and guide you through every stage, including the investigation and going to court. They will keep you informed about how the investigation is going and answer your questions. They will provide care, support and information in a sensitive and compassionate manner. The STO will bring you to your appointment at Treetops SARC if you spoke with the police first. They will also take you home or to a place of safety. The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police force website has more detailed information about what happens if you decide to report an assault or rape.
What if I don’t want to report to the Police?
If you are an adult you don’t have to report to the police to access the services of the Treetops SARC. All you have to do is call us to make an appointment on 0300 123 6616.
There will be no pressure for you to report to the police however we are not able to take forensic samples unless you are considering doing so. This is in line with the law.
We can store all your samples for a specific period of time, so if you want to make a report to the police at a later date you can do so. It gives you the chance to consider your next steps.
We operate an appointment only system at Treetops SARC, please contact us on 0300 123 6616.
We will offer you an appointment as soon as we can.