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