After Rape; What Next ?

Rape is a forceful penetration of the vigina, anus or mouth of another person obtained by threat or intimidation or fear of harm or by use of any substance capable of taking away the will or by impersonating his/her spouse.

1. Get to a safe place: if you’re in immediate danger, get yourself to a safe place.

Once you’re out of danger, tell the first person you see what has happened or contact someone you know and trust and tell them the whole story while it is fresh in your mind. This person can help the police with further investigation and later support your story in court. They are known as the first contact witness.

2. Seek immediate medical attention: do not eat, drink, smoke, take any medication or change your clothes, go to the nearest government hospital and get tested to establish forced penetration. In addition to collecting evidence, ask to get tested on other sexually transmitted diseases. They can also provide you with post exposure prophylactic to help prevent HIV and emergency contraceptives to prevent pregnancy if you want.

3. Go to the nearest police station where the rape occurred and make a report:
You may want to take a friend or relative with you for support.
Being raped is traumatic but recovery is possible. Rape is never your fault.

Nneamaka Onyema is Legal Practitioner, a Chartered Mediator & Conciliator and a Girl-Child advocate.

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