The Rowan - Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

The Rowan is the regional Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Northern Ireland. They provide support and services 24 hours a day, all year to children, young people, women and men who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped in the past or recently.

The Rowan services

The Rowan provides services to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. They can provide:

  • a forensic medical examination by a specially-trained doctor (for adults, forensic evidence can be stored until you make a decision about whether you wish to report to the police or not)
  • assessment for, and administration of, emergency contraception
  • risk assessment of HIV and the administration of a course of treatment to help prevent the onset of HIV if you are considered at risk (this must be administered within 72 hours of the assault)
  • assessment and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections
  • emotional support
  • support in making a report to the police
  • referral to counselling or other suitable support services
  • follow-up support

The Rowan has a 24-hour advice and information telephone line:

  • 0800 389 4424 - free phone from landlines though calls from mobiles will incur a charge
  • The Rowan

Getting help if you have been raped or sexually assaulted

If you need to escape a dangerous situation or have injuries that need immediate medical attention, ring 999.

To get help and support from The Rowan, you can contact them:

  • through the police 
  • by self-referral 

If you do not want to make that first call yourself, you can ask a friend, family member or any professional or support worker to help make the contact.

Contacting the police

If you have been sexually assaulted, you can report this to the police directly. They will arrange for you to visit The Rowan to discuss and receive the support and services you need. If it's an emergency, telephone 999.

If it isn't an emergency, you can report the crime to the police using the non-emergency number, telephone 101.

Contacting the Rowan

To contact The Rowan directly, telephone:

  • 0800 389 4424

It's a free telephone number from landlines.

What happens in The Rowan

They will give you information and support to help you make the decisions that are right for you about what will happen next. They will support you in your choices.

If you have made a report to the police, officers will take you to The Rowan should you require a forensic medical examination. This decision is taken by the police with The Rowan team. A specially-trained police officer who has experience in dealing with sex crimes will also meet you.

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