Advice for victims of rape
Rape and other forms of sexual violence
We all have the right to sexual self-determination and sexual integrity and physical safety. This means that each of us has the right to decide who to have sex with, as well as when and how. Sex always requires the consent of both parties. For example, a person who is sleeping or in an otherwise unconscious state cannot consent to sex.
Anyone, anywhere, can become a victim of rape or other sexual violence. Rape is never the victim’s fault. Nothing that the victim has done or said gives entitlement to a sexual act or its attempt against the victim’s wishes.
According to statistics, a familiar person is more likely to commit a sexual crime, more rarely a stranger in a dark park. Rape or other forms of sexual violence or its attempt is a crime. For example, forcing penetration or oral sex and forcefully pushing a finger or other object inside another person is sexual violence.
Follow the above advice, if you have been raped or you suspect you have:
- Do not get washed or change your clothes.
- Go and see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t have any visible injuries. Go to your local health centre out-patient reception.
- Take a friend or another close person with you, if you wish.
- Do not stay alone with what has happened. Rape or an attempted rape is a tragic event, but you can overcome it. Tell about it to someone who is close and reliable.
- Go and report the crime. You can report a crime at any police station. You can take a friend or a support person to the police station as well.
- Remember that in addition to talking with close ones, it is worth talking to a professional as well.
- Remember, you are not responsible for the event. The offender is guilty and responsible for what has happened.
Free help and support:
- From Victim Support Finland’s helpline, phone-based lawyer advice, RIKUchat or our service points nationwide
- Rape crisis centre Tukinainen crisis number
- Finnish Association for Mental Health crisis helpline
References: Chapter 20 of the Criminal Code of Finland and the Acute help for victims of rape material