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Sorry this might be upsetting but how do I report sexual assault to the police?

(26 Posts)
DottyButtons Mon 18-Apr-16 21:43:37

Just that really.

I think Im ready to report my ex for sexual assault. It happened three weeks ago. Do I just walk into my local station?

I just want to be prepared really. Thanks.

SuckingEggs Mon 18-Apr-16 21:44:49

Yes, you can just go on. Or maybe speak to Rape Crisis for an indication of procedure?

I'm sorry you've been through that, OP.

SuckingEggs Mon 18-Apr-16 21:45:04

*in

Cloudstasteofmash Mon 18-Apr-16 21:45:47

flowers are you ok?

Florene Mon 18-Apr-16 21:47:44

It's better if you ring them - not every station will have officers trained to deal with victims of sexual assault, so if you call them they will make arrangements for one if them to contact you instead.

Skala123 Mon 18-Apr-16 21:50:22

I would save a potentially traumatic journey to a police station where you may only be able to speak to an inexperienced civilian front office staff member. Phone up and make an appointment with a SOIT (sexual offences investigation team) officer.

Redglitter Mon 18-Apr-16 21:52:14

Can i suggest you phone during office hours and explain what's happened and ask to be put through to the appropriate department. If no one is available make it clear you want to wait until someone is available. Emphasise you don't want uniformed officers. Uniformed officers aren't trained and it means you need to go through things twice. If it's just happened that's different but as this is historical you're better getting a properly trained officer at a time that suits you

DottyButtons Mon 18-Apr-16 21:57:09

Ok I'll call them. The station near me is the big one for the city I live in.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 18-Apr-16 22:01:23

Put your regional police authority's name into google search and check their website to see whether there is a dedicated number for the Sexual Offences Unit.

If not call the main switchboard number between 9am-5pm, ask to be put through to the SOU and make an appointment with an officer who has been specifically trained to deal with cases of this nature.

DottyButtons Mon 18-Apr-16 22:01:25

if I make an appointment do we just sit and talk? Will they just listen to me?
I'm sorry about all the questions.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 18-Apr-16 22:08:58

After a preliminary chat during which time you give your account of what took place, the officer will most probably ask you make a formal statement of complaint which will empower the police to interview your ex.

Redglitter Mon 18-Apr-16 22:14:11

Theyll chat to you and probably take some notes then if you still want to go ahead take a formal statement. It's all done at your pace. The station I used to work at has a wee sitting room for this kind of interview. All very relaxed. Or they can come to your house if you'd prefer that

DottyButtons Mon 18-Apr-16 22:14:34

Thank you.
I've never even been inside a police station. I just know that I'm feeling vulnerable and want to make it as ok as it can be for me, if that makes sense.

Redglitter Mon 18-Apr-16 22:17:31

If you're anxious ask them to come to you if that makes it easier. Have someone with you if it helps. Remember they're trained in this and on your side

Zhx3 Mon 18-Apr-16 22:19:32

I'm sorry you had to go through that, Dotty flowers.

It might be worth speaking with your local ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Adviser) thesurvivorstrust.org/isva/, as they will know how the criminal justice system works and be able to give practical help. Your ISVA will be able to provide care and understanding and talk you through the procedure if/when you report.

DottyButtons Mon 18-Apr-16 22:20:32

I've Googled my local police and the website says to call 101 which I will do in the morning.
I can't have them here. Not sure why but I definitely don't want them here.
Thank you for the advice all.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 18-Apr-16 22:23:06

An officer will come to your home if you ask them to.

SimonLeBonOnAndOn Mon 18-Apr-16 22:26:14

As others have said you can ring.
Some uniformed officers are trained in dealing with sexual offences.
You will probably be offered the choice of being interviewed on video.

Might not be immediately as no forensics etc and you are 'safe' as it were.

SimonLeBonOnAndOn Mon 18-Apr-16 22:27:45

Your force may have a special unit, we do in ours where you can be interviewed and their are counsellors on hand as well to offer ongoing support.

I'd ring after 9 in the morning to catch specialist teams early,

Fckup Mon 18-Apr-16 22:31:52

Im a forensic doctor working in a sexual assault referral centre, pm me if you've any questions. So sorry this has happened to you

DottyButtons Mon 18-Apr-16 22:40:39

I think I tried to block it out, with work, a friends wedding, but I've not done very well at it and it keeps coming back up to the surface.
I think I need to tell the police so I can start to feel better.

Fckup Mon 18-Apr-16 22:46:04

Google sexual assault referral center followed by your closest town or city, you can self refer to them and they'll guide you through what to do, offer counselling etc.

OnTheRise Tue 19-Apr-16 07:33:02

When I reported a sexual assault the police were really good.

I walked into my local police station and asked to speak to someone. The receptionist (behind security glass) asked what it was about, saw my hesitation, and gave me a pen and paper so I didn't have to say out loud. I wrote down "sexual assault" and she asked me to sit down and called someone to speak to me.

He was really great. We talked for about an hour, he listened, asked questions in a very sensitive and tactful way, and explained all my options to me.

I didn't feel rushed or pushed into anything.

I later went back and had a video interview, which lasted for three hours. Two officers (one was the first bloke I spoke to), lots of questions, lots of backtracking and repetition (I assume to make sure I had things straight: it didn't feel intrusive or that I wasn't being believed). Breaks whenever I wanted them.

I was told that if it went to trial that video interview would be used so I wouldn't have to give evidence, although I would have had to be present for cross-examination. But that I would be able to do that from a separate room if I wanted, so I wouldn't have to face my abuser in court if I didn't want to.

The police's focus was on making me feel safe and comfortable and listened to. They were very good, I thought, and while it was traumatic to recount what happened, they really did minimise the trauma as much as they could, and were very sympathetic and supportive.

AristotlesTrousers Tue 19-Apr-16 12:16:31

Hope you're ok OP. flowers

Did you feel able to phone the police in the end? If you're struggling with that, could you contact your local Rape Crisis instead?

Just offering a handhold.

DottyButtons Tue 19-Apr-16 13:16:09

Thanks ontherise that's really good to know you were so well supported.
I've emailed my local sexual assault referral centre.
I've sat with the phone but I can't make myself make the call just yet. It feels just so fucking stupid. I'm 31, good job, a home, lovely family and I'm having fucking panic attacks and self harming again. I've booked myself in to see my doctor, I've just moved so I don't know what they'll be like.

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