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If you have experienced rape or sexual assault, know that it’s not your fault and you’re not alone. You may be experiencing many emotions: you may be shocked, scared, angry, confused, or even numb or emotionless. We all respond to trauma differently, and there is no “right” way to respond.

Below are some steps you can take if you have experienced rape or sexual assault:

1. Don't wash or change

If you are able to, try to avoid anything that could potentially damage medical evidence such as:

  • Bathing
  • Showering
  • Using the restroom
  • Changing clothes
  • Combing hair
  • Cleaning up the area

It’s natural to want to do these things after a traumatic experience. Even if you have done any of these, you can still have a medical examination.

2. Go to the "One Stop Crisis Centre" at government hospitals

As soon as you can, go to the “One Stop Crisis Centre” (OSCC), which is located in the emergency room of government hospitals.

At the OSCC, you can receive medical treatment, emergency contraceptives, screening for STIs, and collect medical evidence. You can also make a police report at the OSCC if you have not made one.

Generally, DNA evidence needs to be collected within 72 hours in order to be analysed by forensics. Your clothes will be packed in bags provided by the hospital. Thus, you may want to bring some spare clothes with you.

The OSCC will also provide follow up care for you, but only if you feel comfortable with it. You are free to choose whether or not to return to the OSCC following your first medical treatment.

3. Contact WAO

WAO Hotline: +603 7956 3488

WhatsApp/SMS: +6018 988 8058.

You call always call us, and we’ll be there to listen and help you make sense of what you’ve just experienced. Depending on your location, we may also be able to accompany you to the hospital, and we’ll be there to support you every step of the way. Remember, it’s not your fault and you’re not alone.

 

References:

RAINN, ‘What is a Rape Kit’ <https://www.rainn.org/articles/rape-kit>

OSCC, One Stop Crisis Centre Policy and Guidelines for Hospitals, Ministry of Health Malaysia <http://www.moh.gov.my/index.php/file_manager/dl_item/5547397361584e704c30395451304e666347397361574e354c6e426b5a673d3d>

 

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