are available to men, women and children who live or have been raped or sexually assaulted within Cumbria. We are contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We offer a safe and non-judgemental environment which focuses on the needs of you, the individual.
Telephone: 0808 118 6432
If you are in danger it is important that you call the Police on 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency
Follow on Care
Emergency ContraceptionIt may be important to consider emergency contraception after a rape or sexual assault. The Bridgeway is able to give the emergency contraceptive pill (the morning after pill) onsite and at the time of assessment. The doctor will discuss with you whether taking the morning after pill is advised and which one might be best for you.
It is still possible to become pregnant after taking the morning after pill. The sooner the morning after pill is taken, the more effective it is. If you do not feel able to contact The Bridgeway but think you might need the morning after pill, there are other services you can contact, such as your GP, sexual health clinic, or you can attend a local pharmacy. Visit our Links page to get their contact details - click here to the links page
Sexual Health & STI's
It is important following a sexual assault that you are screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as it may be possible that you have contracted an STI such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, or a blood borne virus such as HIV or Hepatitis B. The risk of having contracted HIV or Hepatitis B is generally low. Details about the assault and person who committed the assault will help the doctor or nurse make an assessment as to the risk.
Some sexually transmitted infections do not show up on screens until 14 days after sex. If you have had a forensic-medical examination, some infections may not therefore show up. It is important to attend for an STI screen following assault which can be done at a sexual health clinic local to you. If you were given preventative medication at The Bridgeway, you will also need to attend for a check-up and to get hold of further medication to complete the course.
If you were raped or sexually assaulted more than 10 days ago, you should also attend for an STI screen at a local clinic.
The Bridgeway staff can make referrals to the sexual health clinic local to you and book an appointment for you, often on a fast track system and in a way that means that you do not have to explain to the people at the sexual health clinic why you are attending for an STI screen. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor may also be able to attend the appointment with you for additional support.
Our crisis workers are friendly and supportive, however if you do not feel able to contact The Bridgeway it is important that you arrange an STI screening following assault, particularly if you experience any symptoms such as itching, discharge, pain when urinating, inflammation or bleeding. Some sexually transmitted infections can be symptomless so it is very important that you have an STI screen even if you have not experienced any symptoms as sexually transmitted infections can lead to serious long-term health problems.