What happens if I report?
Some people report what's happened to them to the police and some don't. It's entirely your decision. You don't have to report but if you decide to, here is some idea of what to expect.
The reporting process
- You have options about how and where you report. You can phone the police and arrange to go into a station, or for the police to come to your home or meet you somewhere else.
- Your local Rape Crisis centre might be able to support you through the reporting process, including going with you and providing information. Find out more about specialist Rape Crisis advocacy or ISVA services and how they can help you.
- The police will take an initial report. Try to be as clear and detailed as you can and not to leave anything out. If you can't remember everything, that's OK.
- If it's a recent rape or sexual assault, they will probably ask you to visit a local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) to collect physical evidence.
- In many areas, you can also visit a SARC without reporting. They can hold evidence for up to 7 years for you.
- Depending on the police's investigations, you will then go through a process that could end in your case going to court or might end sooner than that. You can read more about the Report To Court process here.