Reporting to the police

If you feel it is not an emergency you can still report the incident to the police by calling 101 or by using the West Midlands Police Live Chat Facility. An officer will take some details and then they should contact a Specially Trained Officer (STO) who will be able to support you through the reporting process.  Find out more about your options for reporting sexual assault to the police

The police can take you to Horizon Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) where you can have a forensic medical examination and receive medical and emotional help.

To help get usable forensic evidence, SARC recommends that you try not to eat, drink, smoke, wash, change your clothes, go to the toilet or clear up the area where the assault took place. If you need to go to the toilet if possible collect a sample and the toilet paper in separate bags.  Don't worry if you have done any of these things this does not stop you reporting.

Time limits to be aware of:

  • If you suspect you were given any type of drug, it is best to be tested as soon as possible 
  • If you would like emergency contraception, the medication should be started within 72 hours.
  • If you would like HIV prophylaxis, the medication should be started within 72 hours

The sooner you access support the sooner your options for medication or treatment can be assessed and offered. 

Any forensic evidence collected can be stored whilst you decide what to do next. It is up to you to choose what kind of support you want to access, however you should consider getting medical attention even if you do not want to report the assault to the Police.

Police procedures 

Please see the West Midlands Police website for detailed information on reporting a sexual assault. 

Reporting at a police station and/or attending a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) can be a very lengthy process, but you will be listened to and supported throughout the process. It might be helpful to bring along a supportive friend or relative. 

If you have not changed your clothes since the incident, it is advisable to bring a spare set of clothes as the police may need to keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. 

When you give your statement to the police try not to leave anything out, however embarrassing or painful it may be. If you can’t remember something, it is ok to say so. Don’t be afraid to give a full and honest account about things like how much you had to drink, or using recreational drugs. 

Reporting later

Many people do not wish to report immediately, but decide after a while that they want to do so. This is perfectly acceptable and there is no time limit for investigation by the police, or for prosecuting incidents of sexual violence.

A key consideration when reporting non-recent assaults is the fact that forensic evidence is no longer available and cannot be considered if not previously preserved. However, your strongest piece of evidence is your account of what happened.

If you are not sure what to do, you can go to Horizon Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) or talk to the Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP), which is situated in Birmingham City Centre. 


 

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