To Report or Not?

To Report or Not?

As mentioned, it is your decision whether to report an assault and we appreciate it is a difficult and personal decision to make. Here are a number of reasons why other survivors reported a sexual assault:

  • Reporting can help you emotionally as part of the healing process.
  • Where sexual violence exists in an abusive relationship, reporting may enable you to end the relationship and end the violence.
  • Reporting may be the first step toward prosecution.
  • Reporting may help you take some control back in your life.
  • Reporting may bring the perpetrator and his behaviour to the attention of the police, which may help to solve other crimes and prevent him from committing further offences.
If You Want to Report to the Police
Following the report of a sexual offence to the Police, the Police will automatically bring you to The Shores. This is standard procedure and is to make sure that you receive support in an anonymous environment.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact us directly yourself and we can contact the Police on your behalf. Either way, a medical examination can be arranged (again this is your choice) and your complaint will be heard by a specially trained Police Officer.

Not Sure What to Do?
Crisis Workers at the The Shores can help you to decide. They can explain the options available to you and support you whatever you decide you want to do. We understand that reporting to the Police can be a difficult decision to make.

Crisis Workers at The Shores are trained so that they can take early evidence from you (with your permission) and store this evidence on your behalf. This gives you extra time to make this difficult decision without the risk of losing valuable evidence should you chose to go ahead and report to the Police.

Preserving Evidence
The sooner you report a sexual assault to the police the better the chance of them recovering evidence which may assist in future prosecution of the perpetrator.  If you have been sexually assaulted you can help preserve evidence by trying to avoid:

  • Washing any of your body including your hair and teeth.
  • Drinking and eating, including taking non essential medication.
  • Smoking.
  • Going to the toilet or discarding tampons or sanitary towels.
  • Removing or washing any clothing worn at time of incident or afterwards.

Where the sexual assault took place is considered a crime scene. You should avoid moving, washing or destroying anything from where the sexual assault took place.

Keep any other evidence that may be useful, such as: mobile phones, texts, voicemails, photographs from mobiles or cameras and any emails.