What to Do if You Have Been Raped 335
If you think you may want to report the rape to the police,
do it as soon after the rape as possible. Do not wash before
you go, and bring the clothes that you were wearing in a bag.
These things can help you prove that you were raped. Take
a friend with you, and ask to have a female health worker
examine you, if possible.
If you do not want to go to the police, or if you cannot go
until later, you should see a health worker anyway—even if
you are not badly hurt. Tell the health worker that you have
been raped. She should then check you for cuts or tears, and
give you some medicines to prevent pregnancy and sexually
transmitted infections (STIs). Ask her to write down everything
that she finds because it will help prove to the police or to
others in the community that you were raped.
To the health worker
If you see someone who has been raped:
Treat her with kindness and understanding.
Do not blame her. Since she may find it difficult
for you to see or touch her, explain everything and
wait until she is ready to be touched. Remember
that her feelings about the rape may last for a long
time, even years.
Treat her health problems. Give her medicines to
prevent STIs, HIV, and pregnancy. If she is already
pregnant, help her to decide what she wants to do.
➤ If there is no
health worker who
can treat you, the
information on pages
336 and 337 can
help you prevent and
treat some of the
Write down who raped her and exactly what
happened. If your clinic does not keep records, make
one and keep it somewhere safe. If you can, draw a
picture of the front and back of her body and mark the
places where she has been hurt. Show or tell her what
you have written and that it can be used to support the
fact that she was raped if she goes to the law.
Treat her mental health needs. Ask her whether she has someone to talk to.
Give her your respect and help her respect herself and regain control of her life.
Help her make her own decisions. If she wants to go to the law, help her find
legal services. Help her find other services in the community for women who
have been raped.
Help her tell her partner or her family. If they do not know already, offer
to help her tell them. You can help them find ways to support her until she
recovers. Remember that family members usually also need help to overcome
their feelings about the rape.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012