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to the police

Some survivors report what's happened to them to the police, and some don't. Survivors of sexual violence often face a difficult decision when it comes to reporting, however, it is completely your decision whether to report the crime or not. We are here to support you regardless and help you make an informed decision.

Do I need to report?

It is and should always be your choice whether you report your experience of sexual violence to the police. While reporting sexual violence to the police can be empowering for some, it is a personal decision, and no one should feel obligated to do so. Not reporting to the police doesn't make your experience any less valid.

No-one should ever put pressure on you to speak to the police.  Many survivors choose not to report to the police for a range of different reasons.

However, if you decide to report, you might want to know more about your options and rights from your local Rape Crisis centre.

Some survivors feel pressured to report due to feeling like it is their responsibility to prevent it from happening to someone else. It is important to remember that this is not your responsibility and all blame should be with the perpetrator.

How do I report to the police?

If you want to report something to the police, contact 101 (or 999 if you are in danger or it’s an emergency) or attend the police station in person.

You can also report to the police anonymously, you can do this by contacting Crime Stoppers. If you report anonymously a ‘intelligence report’ is passed on to the relevant police force in your area. This allows the police to consider whether other people have already raised similar concerns about your perpetrator. 

What happens when I report?

The police will take an initial statement. They won’t ask you detailed questions about the incident but will get enough information to start an investigation.

The police should, if at all feasible, assign you a specialised officer with experience investigating sexual offences.

You'll be asked by the police to provide a formal statement. Usually, a video of this will be taken and used as evidence in court. You can decide whether to speak to a male or female police officer during this private conversation. You can also request to have someone with you, such as a representative from a centre for rape crisis.

The police will begin their investigation. This will entail examining the available evidence, communicating with the witnesses, and maybe questioning or apprehending the offender.

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