The Meadows is a dedicated service for adults and children who have experienced sexual assault, rape or gender based violence. It can be difficult to talk about what has happened, however, you can take comfort in knowing that at The Meadows we are dedicated to offering support which will meet your individual needs.
Who are we?
The Meadows brings together a number of services including experienced healthcare staff, specially trained police officers, and other services which provide support for people who have experienced trauma.
We are located a short distance from Forth Valley Royal Hospital in one of the Bungalows off Stirling Road.
4 The Bungalows
What do I do if I’m sexually assaulted or raped?
It is important that you try and speak to someone as soon as possible if you have been sexually assaulted. This could be the police, your GP, local sexual health services, an Emergency Department or Rape Crisis. They will help you decide what to do next. Going to the police does not mean that you have to give a statement or undergo a medical examined. However the police can advise you of the options available. If you have been injured and need emergency care you should attend the closest Emergency Department for treatment.
How do I arrange to come to The Meadows?
At the moment, we do not offer a drop in service, so when you report your sexual assault or rape to the police, they will arrange for a specially trained officer to bring you to The Meadows.
You should avoid washing any of the clothes that you were wearing at the time of the assault or rape and also avoid washing yourself or cleaning your teeth.
If you think your drink was ‘spiked’ or that you may have been drugged, blood or urine samples should be collected as soon as possible (normally within 12 hours). This would be arranged by the police doctor.
If you do not want to involve the police you should still get medical care, advice and support by contacting your local sexual health clinic.
The sexual health clinic can:
- Test you for sexually transmitted infections
- Vaccinate you against Hepatitis B
- Give you emergency contraception, if required
- Provide you with HIV post-exposure prophylaxis, if required
- Provide advice and support
- The sexual health clinic in Forth Valley cannot take forensic samples
For further information contact Central Sexual Health on 01324 673554 or visit their website.
Arriving at The Meadows
When you come to The Meadows, you are welcome to bring somebody with you to support you if that makes you feel more comfortable.
If you report your sexual assault or rape to the police, they will talk you through the process and ask some questions. They will make sure that you understand and are comfortable with everything that you have discussed. You can ask as many questions as you like at any time.
It’s ok if you change your mind at any point we are here to support your choices. You can also contact a number of organisations, including Rape Crisis, for advice and support.
The purpose of a forensic medical examination is to look after your health needs and gather evidence that can be used in any investigation of your assault. If you require a medical examination, the police will give the specially trained doctor who carries this out details of the rape or assault. This helps the doctor decide what samples to take during the medical examination. When you are ready the doctor will invite you into the medical room where the examination will take place.
Each stage will be explained to you beforehand so you are clear what they are for and we will ensure that you agree to everything before it is carried out. You can also ask to stop or pause at any point.
After the examination there are facilities for you to shower if you wish. We can also provide you with toiletries, if required.
You may be at the Meadows for several hours, so we have kitchen facilities to provide you, your friend or member of your family with refreshments while you are here.
We want to know how you are getting on after your visit to The Meadows and we understand that you might have questions after you have left. A nurse from The Meadows will call you after your visit to discuss how you are feeling and find out if there is anything else we can do to help.
Talking to an experienced support worker to acknowledge your experience will help you to stop feeling so alone. This helps you to understand how the assault has affected you.
In The Meadows we can cater for all people including children. We have a dedicated children and young person’s room, where they can talk to specially trained staff in a safe comfortable environment. We also work closely with a wide range of organisations who can provide advice and support.