A Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) offers immediate help after rape or sexual assault to women, men and children. This includes medical care and a forensic medical examination by a specialist NHS doctor or nurse as well as help and advice from our friendly crisis workers to support you through the process.
Devon and Cornwall SARC are part of the NHS and provide help and support to victims of rape or sexual assault in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We have sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) in Exeter, Plymouth and Truro where people can receive medical care, guidance and advice from NHS professionals. Exeter is a centre of excellence for Paediatric forensics, where special care can be given to children.
Devon and Cornwall SARC work with Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, local communities, local councils, hospitals and charitable organisations such as Rape Crisis or First light.
- Gender: All of our services are for women, men and children who have experienced rape or sexual assault.
- Age: All of our services are for people of any age. We offer specialised medical and forensic care for children from our Centre of Excellence for Paediatric Care, based in Exeter.
- Location: The Plymouth SARC is located at Hawthorne House, a safe location in Estover. https://sarchelp.co.uk/plymouth-sarc/how-to-find-us/
- Case type: Plymouth SARC can support female and male victims of rape or sexual assault who are acute (7 days or less) or historic (greater than 7 days). Children who have experienced rape or sexual assault are usually referred to Exeter.
We understand that confidentiality is important to you.
All information about you will be held in complete confidence unless there are concerns regarding child protection or abuse of a vulnerable adult. In such cases we have a responsibility to share some information with other agencies such as social care in order to help keep children and vulnerable adults safe.
If you have reported the assault to the police and the investigation results in a prosecution, your medical notes may be requested by the court and the doctor could be asked to write a statement.
If you are an adult (over 18 years of age) then it is your choice whether to involve the police or not, we will not contact them unless you ask us to. If you are under the age of 18 then we must involve the police. Our staff will be there to guide and support you whatever you decide.
All of our doctors, nurses and crisis workers are female however we can arrange for you to be seen by a male doctor if you wish.
We have specially trained NHS doctors, nurses and crisis workers at each location. We can also refer you to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor https://sarchelp.co.uk/information-sexual-assault/what-is-an-isva/ to guide you through the process.