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Frequently asked questions
What is rape?
Rape is defined as the non-consensual (without permission) penetration
of the vagina, mouth or anus, by a penis.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault by touching is the deliberate non-consensual and sexual
touching of another person. Sexual assault by penetration is non-consensual,
intentional insertion of an object other than the penis into the vagina
Who are the Havens for?
Anyone in London who has been raped or sexually assaulted within the
last 12 months can come to the Havens. Women, men, young people and
children can all attend. If you were assaulted more than 12 months
ago, we can put you in contact with other organisations that can help.
How can I make an appointment?
You can only use the service at the Havens if you have an appointment,
so you must phone us to arrange this. All you need to do to make an
appointment is phone any one of the Havens.
Staff are on call for forensic examinations 24 hours a day, 7 days
Follow-up services such as STI check-ups and counselling are available
9am - 5pm on weekdays only.
Where are the havens?
The Havens are at 3 locations in London:
The Haven Camberwell, King’s College Hospital (south London)
The Haven Whitechapel, Royal London Hospital (east London)
The Haven Paddington, St Mary’s Hospital (west London)
Although the Havens are linked to the hospitals listed above, they
are discrete, self-contained clinics. So it will not be obvious to
other people at the hospital where you are going.
Do I need to report the assault to the police first?
You do not need to report the assault to the police to be able to
use the Havens’ services.
Do I need to talk to the police when I visit the Havens?
Not if you don't want to. Our staff will guide you through the options available to you regarding
There are no police officers based at the Havens. However, if at any
time you decide to talk to the police, Haven staff can arrange
this for you. The officer we contact for you will be a specially trained
and experienced (SOIT) officer who will act as a single point of contact
between you and the police.
You decide the level of involvement of the police. No contact at all,
an informal chat, a full report, it’s up to you.
If you decide that you don’t want to talk to the police, we
can still offer you the follow-up
How many people are affected by sexual assault?
According to the British Crime Survey (2000) about 1 in 20 women in
Britain said that they had been raped since the age of 16. About 1
in 10 women said they had experienced some form of sexual victimisation,
including rape, since the age of 16. About 3% of men have been sexually
victimised at some time in their lives. Only a minority of sexual
assaults in London - perhaps 10 - 20% - are reported to the police.