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What to do if you experience sexual assault abroad?

This help-guide provides guidance on who to speak to and what to do if you are sexually assaulted while outside of the UK.

Experiences of sexual assault are isolating and leave survivors feeling understandably unsafe. Sexual assault while away from home in another country can exaggerate this and leave you feeling confused about your next steps.

Much of the same advice above applies abroad as it does in the UK, especially in the immediate aftermath.

Try to get somewhere that feels safe, talk to someone you trust if possible, and seek medical care if needed.

In the European Union, you can phone 112 for local emergency services. For countries outside the EU, you can find out who to contact here. Search for the country you are in and click on ‘Travel advice and support’.  

Often language barriers can deter survivors from seeking help abroad. The British Embassy or The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can help with reporting to the local police and seeking medical assistance. For more information, see guidance from the UK Government here

Helpful Numbers

  • Rape Crisis England & Wales 24-hour helpline Call free on (0)808 500 2222 (don’t forget to put 0044 to replace the 0 at the beginning when calling abroad) or click here to chat online.
  • The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 0044 (0)20 7008 5000.

Once you have returned home and wish to seek support, contact your local rape crisis centre.

It is important to be mindful that sadly not everywhere in the world views sexual violence the same. There are some parts of the world where reporting sexual violence can lead the survivor to be incriminated or charged with an offence. If you are travelling outside of the EU it is wise to speak to a British consulate, The British Embassy or The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for advice. Find a list of them all here.