Reporting sexual violence
It’s your decision whether you want to report what has happened to you to the police or not. You can report to your local police station (you can ask to speak to a female officer), call Police Scotland on 101 or you can phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you have a support or advocacy worker through the Compass Centre, she can talk this process through with you and you can also speak to a police officer first before deciding.
If you choose to report to the police, we can help you to set up your statement to make it easier. You are welcome to use our centre or you can go to the police station or speak to the police in your home. It is our goal to help make the process as easy as it can be for you. You will be expected to give the police a statement. You will usually be asked some personal contact details and then about the event to help build a picture about what has happened. Your advocacy worker can help support you during this if you feel you would like someone with you. You are welcome to take breaks if you like and, in most cases, will be able to request the gender of your interviewing officer, though this can often be subject to availability. Your advocacy worker can also help you with this.
If you are considering reporting a rape or sexual assault which has just happened, the more evidence you preserve the greater the chance of conviction:
- Ring the police as soon as you are able to – if you are in any danger ring 999
- Try not shower or bathe – even though this may be your first instinct
- If possible ring someone you trust, and see if they can be with you
- Do not change your clothes. If you do, put everything you were wearing into a plastic bag and keep it somewhere safe
- Avoid eating or drinking, especially alcohol
- Don’t comb your hair and try not to clean your teeth
- Try to avoid going to the toilet until you have been examined. If you do need to go to the toilet, keep the tissues you use and put them in a plastic bag
- If the rapist used a condom don’t get rid of it
- Please don’t worry; if the Police cannot detect much forensic evidence as they may find other kinds of evidence.
You can still report at a later time if you choose to and have not done any of the above.