The self-referral policy exists to support complainants of a sexual violent crime who does not initially want to pursue a criminal investigation. They can attend the SAFE Centre for a forensic examination and have samples and clothing securely stored at the Centre for 2 years, this allows a complainant the option of pursuing a criminal investigation at a later date.
Attending as a self-referral also ensures that a complainant has their health and wellbeing needs met:
- Referral to sexual health services if required
- Issued with emergency contraception if required
- Consideration of blood borne viruses and prophylaxis treatment if required
- Referral to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) or therapeutic service
Self-referring to the SAFE Centre does not mean it is a completely confidential service. If staff are informed of anything that gives cause for concern – ongoing safety of complainant or children are involved or were present the staff are duty bound to share information with the police, safeguarding teams and sometimes social care.
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 16:00 call 01772 523344
Weekends and after 16:00 weekdays call 01772 716565 and ask to speak to someone from the SAFE centre
An examiner will speak to a complainant initially on the telephone to obtain some brief details and discuss options:
- What happened
- When did it happen
- Are they safe?
- Do they have any injuries that may need medical attention?
- Were any children present?
- Discussion around options – police referral / self-referral
Attending as a self-referral a complainant will be advised to:
- Not to wash before attending
- To bring clothing worn at the time of the incident