If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Adult survivors get to decide whether they want to report their sexual assault to the police. The only exception is in the case of sexual assaults against minors, where there is a duty to report to police.
When Reporting to Police, Remember:
- If you want to report but aren't ready yet, you can take all the time you need. There's no deadline to report about a sexual assault even if years or decades have passed.
- You can ask to talk with a female police officer.
- You don't have to talk to the police alone. You can take someone with you for support if you'd like and can have that person with you the entire time you are talking to police.
- You can have someone from Victim Services help you. They can tell you what to expect and can go with you when you talk to the police. It's their job to be on your side and to help you feel safer and more comfortable.
- You can change your mind about reporting your assault at any point, even if you’re already in the middle of a conversation with the police. If this happens you can also choose to resume reporting your assault when you are more comfortable doing so.
- You have the right to be treated with respect.
What to Expect When Reporting to the Police
- You can go to the police station or call the police to ask if they can meet you at your home.
- When you meet with them, the police will tell you the steps required to report and can explain more about the process for your case.
- You can expect the police to demonstrate respect and to assist you, but they are going to have to ask you hard questions. In order for them to investigate, they will ask you for the details of your assault. Their questions may be uncomfortable and difficult to answer. These questions are intended to ensure they get all the information from you that they need to investigate. It might be helpful to have a support person with you for this.
- If at any point you decide not to proceed with reporting, you can ask the police what you can expect if you change your mind later.
- You can find further information about the legal aspect of reporting by contacting PLEA or looking at the information on sexual assault on their website.
- PLEA also operates the Listen Project, a program that provides up to four hours of free legal advice to survivors of sexual violence.
Minors and sexual assault
There is a duty to report the abuse of minors. If you, or someone you know suspects that sexual abuse is being perpetrated against someone under the age of 18, you must report it to the authorities.