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Sexual violence

Sexual violence is not only rape or threats of rape, but also, for example, forced touching. Sexual violence is also when someone intimidates you into having sex with them. In other words, sexual violence is when someone does something sexual to you against your will.

Consent is the most important thing in any sexual activity and you always have the right to change your mind and say no. The other party’s consent must be verified both for the first time and in a long marriage. Sexual violence is also when someone takes advantage of the fact that you were drugged, intoxicated or asleep.

It is a myth that sexual violence only affects women. All people, regardless of gender or age, can be victims of sexual violence: children, young people and adults, men and women, as well as people of different gender and sexual identities.

In the case of sexual violence or a suspicion thereof, contact a sexual violence crisis centre or the police as soon as possible. Sexual violence crisis centres are open to all people, regardless of their gender or age, who have experienced or suspect sexual violence.

It can be difficult to talk about what happened. It is natural to feel anger, shame or sadness, to be afraid of getting hurt again, or to think that you have to deal with what happened on your own. But when you share what happened, you realise that it was not your fault. You will also get advice on how to feel safe again, and this will make you feel hopeful again. All people who have experienced sexual violence have the opportunity to join support groups by writing to [email protected]

Get help

If someone sexually assaults you, it is never your fault – no matter what they say. The perpetrator of sexual violence is responsible, not the victim. Call the Social Insurance Board’s victim support helpline on 116 006, or find your nearest women’s support centre or sexual violence crisis centre. In case of emergency, call 112.

If sexual violence has occurred in the last 7 days, contact:

  • Emergency reception of the Women’s Clinic of West Tallinn Central Hospital, Sõle 23, Tallinn
    Reception phone 5342 4724
    See more
  • Ida-Viru Central Hospital, Ilmajaama 12, Kohtla-Järve, entry via the ER
    Nurse on call at the gynaecology department, phone 331 1041
    See more
  • Pärnu Hospital, Ristiku 1, Pärnu, entry via the ER
    Gynaecologist on call, phone 447 3505
    See more
  • Tartu University Hospital, L. Puusepa 8, Tartu, entry via the ER
    Nurse on call at the gynaecology department, phone 731 9954
    See more

If sexual violence has happened in the past, please consult a victim support worker. To sign up to the support group for survivors of sexual violence, email [email protected].

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted?

If you have been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted, then dare to seek help. Sexual violence crisis centres offer, at your request and with your consent:

  • support and initial advice;
  • examination and collection of evidence;
  • medical assistance;
  • help to prevent pregnancy;
  • testing for sexually transmitted diseases and post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV;
  • follow-up support;
  • support in contacting the police.

Immediately after the incident:

  • Go to a place where you are safe and secure. In an emergency, call 112 or the victim support helpline on 116 006. Contact the police or a sexual violence crisis centre as soon as possible.
  • Do not wash yourself or change your clothes, even though you may want to. This is necessary for the collection of evidence. However, if you already changed your clothes, then take all the clothes you were wearing, preferably in a paper bag, to the police or the sexual violence crisis centre.
  • Seek medical help even if you cannot see any injuries yourself. At the sexual violence crisis centre, you will be examined and everything will be documented. They will also know how to protect you from possible illnesses and unwanted pregnancy.
  • Do not be afraid to report the incident to the police. This way, you can protect yourself and potential future victims.
  • You can also come to us if you are a man, a non-binary or transgender person, have a different sexual identity, etc. Our experts can help all victims of violence. Do not let the fact that help will be provided by gynaecologists and nurses bother you. More important than the gender of the helper is their professional preparation, which helps to heal from the trauma and to experience dignified and respectful treatment.
  • Any form of sexual violence is extremely traumatic. It can take a long time to recover. It is common that you may feel fear, shame or guilt afterwards. Seek support from loved ones or victim support services who will help you understand that what happened was not your fault. Seek help, even if a longer period has passed from the time when sexual violence occurred, to get psychological support and to protect your health and relationships, as the experience of sexual violence can have a lasting impact on you.

If sexual violence has occurred in the past:

Are you a young person who has experienced sexual violence?

It is natural to be frightened and confused when you experience sexual violence as a young person. You may feel as if you cannot trust any stranger enough to seek the help you need. However, it is important to talk about what happened and to find help. Think about whether you know a trusted adult or friend you can turn to for support when seeking help.

You may feel that you do not want to irritate or upset your parents, so you keep what happened to yourself. But while most parents are horrified to hear what has happened, they want to support and help their child.

When you first seek help from the  sexual violence crisis centre, we will help you cope with the situation caused by sexual violence. It is up to you to decide whether you want a medical check-up or other help. You can stop the examination at any time if you wish. Your doctor will tell you if you need medication to prevent pregnancy or testing for sexually transmitted diseases. It is up to you to decide whether you want treatment and testing.

If our helpers feel that your safety and health are at risk, it is possible to call the police and/or a social worker. We will be sure to consult you beforehand and consider any concerns you may have.

Are you a man who has experienced sexual violence?

Help for survivors of sexual violence is also targeted at men. Our experts are specially trained to provide first aid to victims of violence of both sexes. Do not be bothered by the fact that the helpers are gynaecologists and nurses. More important than the gender of the helper is their professional preparation, which will help to heal from the trauma and to be treated with dignity and respect.

If a child has experienced sexual violence

If a child has experienced sexual violence, it is possible to get first aid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the sexual violence crisis centres, where the child will be offered sensitive standardised care, be examined by a forensic doctor if necessary, and provided the necessary medical attention.

If primary care (7 days) is not necessary or not possible, we welcome children with a suspicion of sexual violence to the Children’s House service.

At the Children’s House, different specialists work together for the well-being of the child, assessing the child’s health and social situation and further needs, carrying out the necessary investigations to resolve the case and providing the child with the necessary assistance.


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