are available to men, women and children who live or have been raped or sexually assaulted within Dorset. We are contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We offer a safe and non-judgemental environment which focuses on the needs of you, the individual.
Telephone: (01202) 552056
If you are in danger it is important that you call the Police on 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency
To Report or Not?
It is completely your decision whether to report an assault and we appreciate it can be a difficult decision to make. If you are unsure, staff at The Shores can help you to decide.
We can explain the options available to you and support you with whatever you decide to do. The Shores will never insist or make you to report an assault to the Police. There may however be occasions where we have to involve the Police or another agency but this will be discussed with you first. For example, if you disclose something that leads us to believe that you, a child(ren) or another person may be at risk of harm or if we believe you are likely to harm yourself or another person.
The Police Role
It is the responsibility of the Police to gather evidence and investigate crimes that may later be used in court. Any evidence gathered by the Police is then presented to the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) www.cps.gov.uk who then review it and decide whether to charge and prepare the case for court. Rape and Sexual Assault are serious crimes and the Police understand that not knowing what to expect may be frightening. You can report an assault to the Police using 999 (for emergencies), 101, attending your local station or a member of staff at The Shores can assist with the report.
If you report an assault to the Police, they will provide a specially trained officer (STO) who will explain the whole process and treat you and your family with care and sensitivity throughout any investigation, examination and court proceedings.
If you report an assault to the Police your identity with remain anonymous. The law protects you by giving anonymity to victims of sexual assault for your lifetime. No information likely to lead to your identification as a victim can be published or broadcasted.
What is a STO?
A STO is a specially trained officer who has completed specific training relating to Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Forensic Medical Examinations, Interviewing and Special Court Measures. STO's are committed to providing the best service possible to victims and to investigate each crime to the best of their ability. They recognise the need to continue developiing the way in which the police respond to victims of serious sexual violence.