What should I do if I'm a victim of Rape or Sexual Crime?
11/1/2017 01:56:31 PM
Rape is a dreadful and life changing crime we would encourage you to tell us about.
We understand this is your decision and one you shouldn’t be pushed into but it’s important to remember that the sooner the assault is reported, the more evidence we’ll be able to collect to help prevent you or someone else being hurt again.
If you do decide to make a report, we will do everything we can to make sure you and your family receive the best possible care and support.
Our first concern is your safety so if the incident has just happened and you contact us by phone, our call handler will stay on the line until a police officer arrives.
We have a team of specially trained officers who will do everything in their power to treat you and your family with care and sensitivity throughout any investigation, court proceedings and beyond.
They will be open, honest, do their best to minimise trauma and offer support for as long as you would like. If you’ve been raped, please remember it’s not your fault. Regardless of what you might have been wearing, how much you’d had to drink or who was involved, we will never treat any type of rape as more or less serious than any other.
One of our specially trained officers will visit you wherever you feel most comfortable.
The officer will accompany you at all times unless you choose otherwise and explain the whole process but please don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re here to help and can make arrangements for a friend or family member to be with you if you would like them to.
Sometimes the officer may use what we call an early evidence kit. This is nothing to worry about, it’s just a small box containing a mouth swab and a pot to collect a urine sample in. Evidence can be lost by brushing your teeth, eating, drinking or going to the toilet. The early evidence kit helps us collect this evidence quickly.
At this time the officer will take a more detailed account of what has happened which you will be asked to read and sign. We call this a first account.
Although initially you may find it embarrassing to discuss intimate details, our experienced officers will do their best to put you at ease, and please remember they are used to these types of conversation and will remain professional at all times.
It’s important to be truthful. No one will judge you if you had been drinking or taking drugs before the assault but it’s important to let the officer know as it may change the way the account is taken and alert officers that you could need urgent medical attention.
Never be frightened to ask questions, explain things in your own words or ask for a break if you feel you need one.
It is a Health Service facility specifically designed to look after people who have been raped and sexually assaulted. It has a worldwide reputation for excellence. If you report rape to the police we will arrange for you to attend the SARC if you agree.
This process is designed to get you the help you need and to obtain forensic evidence in order to assist with the investigation. This process is conducted by a Forensic Doctor at the centre and whilst it is purely optional it is recommended not only for the examination but also for other benefits such as STI testing, and Anti HIV medication.
You will also be seen by a crisis worker who can support you through this process and offer you immediate support and advice. Each step of the process is explained and your consent to conduct the exam is required.
After the examination you will be told about the support available to you. This includes an independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA) to support you through the investigation, help access other services and support you should the case progress to a trial at court.
St Mary's can also offer counselling services which may afford victims a qualified point of contact and someone to speak to about the impact of the assault and help you to cope with the immediate impact and ways to help you cope.
If you prefer a male ISVA or counsellor St. Mary’s will refer you to Survivors Manchester for this support as they have a specialist male workers to provide a similar support and counselling.
Making a Statement
Making a formal statement to the Police can be done in two different ways. This can be done in the form of a statement where you explain to the officer the circumstances in detail and they write this information down. At the end of which you will be asked to read and sign the statement.
The alternative and often preferred method is by way of Video Interview or (ABE – Achieve Best Evidence) This procedure often takes place at a Police Station and is conducted in a Video Interview Suite.
This is a room specially adapted with microphones and cameras. In the room will be yourself and a specially trained interviewing officer. Although a formal procedure it is made to be as relaxed as possible, you will be asked to explain to the officer in your own words what has happened. They will ask you relevant questions to obtain as much detail as possible.
It is important you try to recall as much information as possible. A video interview would allow for special measures in court.
It is your choice which is your preferred option and in either case the information you provide will help officers with their investigations and may be used later in court.