Know that no means no
If you have made your report at home, and are happier in that environment, the police can come and see you there and get more details about what has happened. If you do not want to speak to the police at your home there are specially designed suites where you will be able to discuss what has happened in privacy and comfort. You will not be taken to an interview room or to a place where you will feel intimidated.
KNOW you are being helped by people who are specially trained…
After you have made a report to the police, you will have a dedicated officer assigned to your case. These officers will be specially trained to provide you with help and support. Both female and male officers are available should you wish to be dealt with by someone of the same gender.
This officer is your point of contact and will remain so throughout the investigation. They will explain to you what is happening and answer any questions you might have. After the initial response to your report, your officer will make contact with you as soon as possible. They will meet with you and take a more detailed account of what happened. They will record anything that is relevant to the investigation. This will be in more detail than the account taken in the initial report and you will be asked more questions. The reason for this is to assist in the initial stages of the investigation, such as knowing what objects to look for and collect from the scene of the offence. The officer may ask you to be examined by a doctor but this is not compulsory and you can still make a report should this be an issue.
If you have been able to identify where the attack happened, this area will be examined for further forensic evidence. You will not have to re-visit the place.
The more detail you can give to the police, the better equipped they will be to try and catch the person who has committed the offence against you. It can be difficult talking to the police about what has happened, especially if it is not clear in your own mind, but even little details can help to find the person responsible.
KNOW frequently asked questions…
|1. Should I tell the police?
The most important thing is to make sure you are and being supported after any incident has occurred. If you decide to contact the police they will firstly do everything they can to support you, either directly, or in helping you get in touch with a locally based support agency such as RASA, or Safe Place. If further down the line, you wish to report the incident to the police, they will do the best they can to bring the perpetrator to justice.
|2. What will happen if I tell the police?
A specially trained officer will discuss the procedure with you and talk through your options.
|3. I don’t want to go to the police. Is there somewhere else I can go for help?
Yes. You can contact Safe Place. They can provide you with ongoing support and advice.
|4. Will I have to go to court?
Not all cases reach court. If there is enough evidence for your case to go to court you will be supported throughout by a specially trained officer who will guide you through the process.
|5. I have a criminal record, will this affect me if I report an allegation of sexual assault to the police?
The police are only interested in investigating your assault and ensuring you have access to health care.
|6. What will happen if I decide to withdraw my support for the investigation?
You will not be judged as there are several reasons why victims may decide not to continue with the process. You will be treated with sensitivity and respect.
|7. I can’t remember what happened so how can I tell the police?
If you are worried or anxious and think something has happened to you, tell someone. If you aren’t comfortable talking to the police there are organisations who can help and support you. You may find that speaking to someone can help you remember details that can help piece together what has happened.
|8. I was raped abroad, can I report this?
Contact your local police station or call 101. They will put you in touch with someone for advice. Alternatively, there is information on what you can do next online.
|9. I voluntarily took drugs prior to the offence, does this matter?
The police are primarily interested in the sexual offence committed against you. They will need to know if you took drink or drugs as it might help to show your inability to consent at the time of the incident.