Reporting sexual abuse - your options

 

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 999 (OR 112 FROM MOBILES).

 

Whether your abuse happened in the last hour, week or year, it is important that you reach out for support and assistance. If your abuse happened many years ago, it is never too late to get the support or justice you deserve.

Reporting an incident is entirely your choice.  There are two options main options of formally reporting an incident of sexual violence: 

1. Reporting to the Police

If you've been raped or sexually assaulted, you can report it to the Police.  It is entirely up to you whether or not you report it to the Police. No-one else can or should make that decision for you.

2. Reporting to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

If you’re not sure yet whether you want to report the abuse to the Police, but think you might want to at some point, you can visit your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), a special facility independent of the police, where recent victims of rape or sexual assault can receive immediate help and support. This includes access to a forensic medical examination, the results of which can be stored for a future date. It will also enable you to get any medical help you may need. Additionally, a crisis support worker will support you through the process of making decisions about how to involve the police.

If you think you may want to pursue justice, now or sometime in the future, it is beneficial for as much forensic evidence as possible to be collected. Time is an important factor in this. If you can, you should try to go to your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) or the police straight away, or at least within 72 hours of the rape or assault, where a forensic examination can take place.

For more information on both reporting routes, please click on the relevant button below.

Call either our Women's Rape & Sexual Abuse Helpline or Women's Domestic Abuse Helpline if you would like further help understanding what support is available to you and what the various options are for reporting an incident. This is a free and confidential service.

Alternatively, go to the Survivor Pathway website to understand who else, other than The Women’s Centre Cornwall, you can contact in the South West of England for support.

 

Find out more about reporting to the Police

Click here

Find out more about reporting to a SARC

Click here

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