Sexual Abuse Referral Centres are specialist buildings or parts of buildings (such as a department within a hospital) to help with information and reporting sexual abuse. Often these building have been purpose built or designed to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

At the SARC you can:

  • Get information – adults can self refer to the SARC for an appointment to talk about your reporting options.
  • Give video evidence – you can give your statement to the police which is usually done via video now. Your SARC will have a specially designed room for this.
  • Undertake your forensic examination – if you report within the first few days or week of the crime, there may be a possibility that forensic evidence can be gained from an examination. The SARC will have a clean room and medical staff on call in order to perform this examination should it be required (please see below for more information on forensic examinations).
  • In some places you can get a sexual health check and any precautionary medication you may need.

Children’s SARC

The Children’s SARC is similar to adult SARC, providing a service for children and young people from 0-16 years of age who have disclosed sexual abuse or assault or where it is suspected that it may have happened. Unlike the adult SARC, the Children’s services typically only accept referrals from the police and social services.

Finding Your Local SARC

You can view a list of the SARC and Children’s SARC services in Yorkshire and humberside to find your local service.

Browse SARC Services.

More Information: Forensic Examinations

The Forensic Window for evidence

Oral Rape – due to how much we use our mouths for eating, drinking etc this window is very short. It really depending on how much has been eaten and drank since and if the teeth have been brushed (how many times). 1 day is the recommended time but it can be shorter.

Anal Rape – 3 days but again this will depend on how many bowel movements and showers have been taken

Vaginal Rape – 3-5 days depending on number of times showered and number of visits to the toilet

Stranger Rape – If the perpetrator was not known to you, the window may be extended slightly especially for vaginal rape, this could be up to 7 days after that a forensic examination will be completed.

  • Try not to shower
  • If you have changed clothes, keep the clothes you were wearing in a paper bag
  • Try to keep eating, drink and going to the toilet to a minimum

SARC workers know the above is the last thing you want to do, many have a shower and refreshments for you once the exam is done. Some even have spare clothes and spare single use toothbrushes in order for you to use immediately after the exam is over.


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