Your physical health can suffer as a direct result of a crime. For example, you may have been hit or kicked as a result of an assault or a mugging, or may have been hurt within an abusive relationship. If this has happened to you, it’s important that you tell someone about your injuries. You may think that it’s nothing – that you can cope with a bruise or a bump – but the real extent of your injuries may not be obvious straight away. Other problems that you may not be able to see such as internal bruising, concussion and even broken bones may only become apparent hours or days after you were hurt so it’s important that you get any injuries checked out.
If you’re in pain, you need to get medical help, either through your doctor or at a walk-in centre. Getting medical evidence of your injuries may also be helpful if you decide to report the crime and the case comes to court.
It can really help to talk to an adult about your health, but if you decide you don’t want to tell anyone, and you are over 16, you have the right to confidential advice and treatment from a doctor or from NHS staff. If you’re under 16, you can still ask for a confidential consultation – so that you can talk to your doctor without your parents being informed – and in most cases doctors will agree to this. But they may have to tell other people in they think you are in danger. You can find out more about your rights as a young patient at Citizens Advice.
You may not want everyone to know that you’ve been injured, but you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about your injuries. You haven’t done anything wrong, and it’s important that you get help and any treatment you may need.