What happens if I report?
Here is a step by step guide of what happens when you report a sexual offence to the police and what will happen to you.
Reporting in person
- When you come to the Police Station you can bring a friend, or family member, for support. Alternatively officers can visit you wherever you are most comfortable.
- Then you will be spoken to by a ‘Sexual Offence Liaison Officer’ who is a specially trained officer who deals with victims of sexual violence. We have both men and women officers and you can choose which you would prefer.
- When you are ready this officer will take you to a more suitable location where you can tell them what has happened and they can assess with you whether you need medical support and assistance. If it is needed the officer will explain the process of a medical examination but that will only take place with your agreement.
- After providing the officer with the details of what has happened you will be asked to provide a statement. The statement will be recorded from you either in a hand written format or through a video interview process - which ever you feel more comfortable with. Translators and support will be available. You can stop at any time and all details will be recorded at your own pace.
- During this process the officer will need your full details including your name, age and address. You will be asked where the incident took place, if you know the person responsible, and what happened. Some of the questions asked will be difficult but all the information you can provide will help any future prosecution.
- After your statement has been recorded and during the investigation process officers will speak to any witnesses who can provide any additional information. They will visit the scene, collect evidence and take photographs where there is a need. This will include door to door enquiries and looking at CCTV.
- If you do not know the person responsible then you may be asked by the police to view some images of possible suspects or create an image of the person responsible through an artist impression.
- Once you have reported the matter to the Police, the person responsible for assaulting you may be arrested and interviewed. Your dedicated Sexual Offence Liaison Officer will keep you up to date with information about any arrest within 24 hours of it happening and the outcome of the arrest.
- Following investigation your case will be referred to our local Law Officers Department where an appointed specialist Crown Advocate will review your case in regards to prosecution.
1. We know that reporting a serious sexual assault can be extremely traumatic and not all victims are ready to speak to the Police.
2. There are other agencies you can visit to seek guidance and support including your local GP, your local sexual health clinic at the General Hospital, or Victim Support who can refer you to Rape Counselling services. All the contact details are here.