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Sexual assault is a serious crime that can impact anybody. New South Wales Police Force understand that reporting sexual assault can be distressing and traumatic. Experienced investigators can explain all available options to you then take your statement if you wish to formally report the matter.

NSW Police understand that not all people want the incident to be formally investigated, however, police strongly encourage victims and witnesses to report sexual assault. The police can also organise extra support including medical care and counselling for victims, using a range of government and non-government agencies. Sexual Assault is a crime of violence. It aims to humiliate and degrade the victim and can occur within marriage and relationships. It can be a frightening experience that may have long term effects.

These effects occur regardless of a person's age, gender, status, culture, ability or sexuality. Although women are primarily the victims of sexual assault, men and transgender people can also be victims. Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. Sexual Assault is a general term used to describe a broad range of sexual crimes committed against a person. These crimes include sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated sexual assault, indecent assault and acts of indecency these offences generally involve inappropriate touching, including genitals or other intimate areas or forcing a person to touch the genitals or intimate areas of another person.

However, if the offence has just happened, or in an emergency, call Triple Zero and police will come to you. Complete a sexual assault reporting option SARO , where vital information on the assault is provided to police, without the matter being formally investigated. Generally speaking, there is no time limit for reporting sexual crimes. Some people choose to report immediately after the assault happens, others may report days, months or years later.

Obviously the sooner you report the better chance Police have of locating and securing vital evidence. Depending on the circumstances, in most cases you should attend your local police station to report what happened. If unsure, please call your local police station and ask to speak to the detectives or a duty officer.

A duty officer is a senior and experienced Police Officer. The duty officer can let you know the name of the Detective you will be talking to so that when you come to the Police Station you can ask for the Detective. A person who has been sexually assaulted will need to give an overview of what happened, make a statement, or they can discuss these options with detectives. A forensic medical examination may be required again depending on the circumstances. Victims can have a support person with them while they are at the station.

Police will be respectful and supportive during the entire process, across the State the NSW Police Force has officers who are specially trained in matters of sexual assault, with most adult sexual assault investigations carried out by local detectives attached to Police Area Commands PACs and Police Districts PDs. An overview: A Sexual Assault Reporting Option SARO is an on-line form that people can complete if they have decided not to make a formal report to police or have their matter investigated. A SARO questionnaire is not the same as making a formal report to police and will not initiate a criminal investigation.

The primary purposes of a SARO is to make a record of what occurred, in addition to allowing the NSW Police Force to gather information on sexual offences and offending. SARO can also be used as a therapeutic tool during counselling programs. SARO is a questionnaire that can be accessed online here. In most circumstances to make a report of sexual assault, you will need to travel to your local police station.

When you arrive at the police station you should ask to speak to the Detectives or a Duty Officer in private You can give your story in a room away from the public. You can find your police station here. We understand that approaching a police station can be an intimidating and upsetting experience. When someone reports a sexual assault, they will be dealt with by police officers who will be respectful, non-judgemental, supportive and understanding.

If they think a government agency has not helped them they can contact the Victims Services for help on This is OK. By providing the information you have helped police record the crime. This may assist with future investigations. It may also help prevent someone else being harmed. When a report of a sexual assault is made to police, the victim will be asked to make a statement. This will be done in a private area at the Police station, away from other members of the public and day to day police operations. Please note that Police Stations can sometimes be noisy and crowded, depending on the location and time of day.

The process will involve remembering and recounting, as best as possible, the assault in detail. Police know that this can be difficult and traumatic, but it is important to tell them everything that took place. If some details are withheld, it may negatively affect the case. Victims can have a support person with them while they are making their statement, however this person cannot in or assist with the interview itself. If you happen to remember something else later on, please call the officer who took your statement so this can be added to your evidence.

This will be completed at a Hospital by a specially trained medical practitioner and involves swabs and other physical evidence being collected. Once completed, the victim will be asked to a consent form to enable the SAIK to be released to police so the samples taken can be analysed.

The evidence obtained may be used in future court proceedings. Alternatively, there are the highly experienced counsellors at the NSW Rape Crisis Service who you may wish to speak with privately. The Useful Contacts section of this fact sheet outlines a list of other counselling, support and resource centres to assist both adult and child victims.

This is however entirely separate to any subsequent NSW Police Force criminal investigation response. It is important to know that the NSW Police Command closest to where the incident occurred will have carriage to investigate this crime. If this has occurred in another state in Australia, this information can be forwarded to that Police Force. Additionally, if you were assaulted in another country, it is important to report it to the Police in that country as soon as possible. If you are unsure what to do, please speak to NSW Police who will be able to advise you on your options.

It is an easy questionnaire containing a series of questions written to obtain specific information from the victim about the offence and the offender. You can access SARO here. The questionnaire is easy to complete and contains a series of questions deed to obtain specific information from you about the offence.

There is also a section where you can provide a summary in your own words about what happened The more accurate detail recorded on the form the better. Victims can choose to provide their contact details or make the report anonymously. There is also an option on the questionnaire to authorise, where applicable, the release to Police of any forensic evidence obtained from you during the SAIK.

Police understand that completing the questionnaire may be difficult, because it requires you to recall, in some detail, what happened. If the services of a counsellor are being utilised, it may be useful to talk with them before doing so. It is also recommended that the form be completed in a private place where you feel safe. All information received will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and recorded on a secure and restricted NSW Police Force data base.

Importantly, the submission of a SARO questionnaire is not the same as making a formal report to police and will not automatically result in a criminal investigation being commenced. If you decide, after completing a questionnaire, that you wish to make a formal complaint to police, you still can at your nearest Police Station.

A list of other support services is available. This could mean months, years or decades ago. Deciding to report to police is a big decision. Experienced investigators can explain all available options, so that you can make an informed decision about what you want to do. The NSW Police Force understand that not all people want the incident to be formally investigated, however, police strongly encourage victims and witnesses to report all sexual abuse.

The NSW Police Force also recognises that deciding to report historical sexual abuse can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. We hope it can also be a helpful one. This information is deed for you to understand the different reporting methods and what to expect from them. Being well informed about what is involved in the reporting process can help you make the decision that is best for your situation. It can be reported years after the offence and the investigation process can also be suspended and re-opened. You can attend the police station and make a report of sexual assault without having that report investigated or making a formal statement.

If you would like to discuss whether to make a formal report to police, you can contact your local police station by phone or face to face. If you decide to attend in person it is a good idea to telephone your local police station and make an appointment.

If attending in person, you do not need to tell your whole story but will need to provide some details about what occurred at this time to be able to arrange for a detective to speak with you. You can discuss with the detective what is involved in making a formal statement and what will happen after. You can ask to speak to a male or female detective and police will attempt to accommodate your request. Sometimes police can meet you at other locations to take a report or obtain a formal statement for example: a counsellor's office.

If you decide to make a formal statement, you can give an initial overview of what occurred, and then complete a formal statement. The statement process can take a long time and will involve remembering and recounting, as best as possible, the abuse in detail. Police know that this can be difficult and traumatic, but it is important to tell them everything that you remember that took place. You can have a support person with you while you are making your statement, however this person cannot in or assist with the interview itself.

You can also take a break during the interview, whenever you need to. If you happen to remember something else later on, you can contact the officer who took your statement, so this can be added to your evidence. This can occur over multiple appointments and depends on the individual circumstances of each case. You should tell the investigating detective of any information you think is relevant to the case. You should be aware that at any time in an investigation, you can choose not to proceed.

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